Poiesis and Research in Contact Improvisation
& Nita Little
18:00 - 19:15
This presentation with a workshop component explores the concept of “poiesis” into convergence with the history of Contact Improvisation as a means to consider the generation of new knowledge and new research practices. We track Nita's journey from the foundation of the practice through to her current research with the ISSC (Institute for the Study of Somatic Communication). We will invite participants to reflect on their own history with the practice and what knowledge it has generated within dance and somatics and applications beyond dance. We have a presentation and there are elements of participation ending with discussion and sharing. The stimulation for this came from the provocation of" CI as a Research Paradigm." In the process of writing and presenting, we discovered more and would like to share this at Body IQ. Its relevant to many of the topics mentioned in the call out including the potential for body-based social justice. CI has not only innovated and democratised dance, it continually generates new knowledge and relationship to those who practice and witness the work.
Nita Little is an activist for relational intelligence through dance practices beginning with the emergence and development of Contact Improvisation (CI). A dancer, teacher, choreographer, scholar and theorist, her work with Steve Paxton was research generative of CI in 1972. A PhD in Performance Studies (2014) her writing investigates ecological actions of attention and the creative potentials present in entangled relations. She is in the initial stages of developing a global institute for the study of Somatic Communication populated by dancer/investigators as well as scientists and researchers from multiple disciplines.
Colleen Bartley has Dance and Education degree from Swarthmore College (1996) and a diploma in Community Dance from Laban (1999) and years of experience with Somatic Education (since 1994) worked directly with most of the founders of Contact Improvisation. She’s been influenced by teachers of contemporary and post-modern dance, experiential anatomy with Gary Carter and Caryn McHose, Authentic Movement with Susan Schell, Improvisation & Composition (Tuning Scores with Lisa Nelson, The Underscore with Nancy Stark Smith, Ensemble Thinking with Nina Martin) and is very active in dancing, organizing, writing about and documenting dance. She has an invisible disability which informs her practice as a teacher and an artist and the communities she engages with. She believes that its everyone’s birth right to move, that people are inherently creative, movement is our first language, and sees dance as a way to empower people, to effect social change and to build community.