by Jennie

In January I spend a fantastic time at Earthdance, an artist-run workshop and residency center in the white and frozen woods of Massachussets. I participated in the 3 week Intensive January Workshop with Nancy Stark Smith focusing on contact improvisation and related improvised dance work. I deeply enjoyed this time among other beautiful and inspiring souls and the concentrated container this workshop provided to share dancing and research practise, meandering through solo training and group settings, improvisation scores, compositional aspects, witnessing, listening and the study of performance. I brought up my idea of minimal improvisation and asked a group of people to perform a sound feedback score by using their voices. So several duets worked simultanuously on the repetition of a simple sound. Through the individual experience of listening and imitating/repeating/interpretating/answering a sound the sound material gradually shifts concerning pitch, volume, texture and new material comes up.
We asked the audience to sit inbetween the performers and to either listen or to participate and answer/feedback to the sounds they receive. Here´s a little video.

Thanks to Nancy Stark Smith for facilitating a versatile and multilayered frame to practise improvisation and share experience and to Mike Vargas for musical impact, ideas and discourse. Some really interesting seeds have been planted.

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