Encounters with Contact Improvisation
The Oberlin College Dance Program is celebrating its historical connections to the development of Contact Improvisation with a year-long series of events during the 2009-2010 academic year and the release of a new publication entitled Encounters with Contact Improvisation
. Created in conjunction with Contact Quarterly
is to be written by and for students learning Contact Improvisation in colleges and universities across the United States and abroad.
"Two decades ago, I was one of a handful of faculty teaching Contact Improvisation in institutions of higher learning," says Encounters
director, Professor Ann Cooper Albright
. "These days, there are a great many people teaching Contact in various academic situations, including some of my former students, and I am curious about this phenomenon," she adds.
The publication is slated to feature photography, shorter commentaries, and longer think pieces on the experiences of dancing Contact Improvisation in college, collected from students and faculty during the 2009 fall and early winter 2010 . With the assistance of Nancy Stark Smith (Oberlin College Alumna and co-editor of Contact Quarterly) and an intergenerational editorial staff, Encounters, will be published as a small chapbook and distributed to Contact Quarterly subscribers and at summer dance festivals and dance programs around the country.
In connection with the publication, Oberlin College has scheduled a year-long series of events, culminating in a 24-hour Contact Jam and book release. In addition to coursework in Contact Improvisation, Oberlin will feature free Contact Jams every Sunday afternoon and a writing and dancing intensive Winter Term program co-taught by award winning dancer and teacher Kirstie Simson and Albright.
"What does it feel like to open the pores of your skin wide enough to let the world in?" prompts Albright, "What do these pores have to do with pouring your weight?". Generated in a cultural moment far removed from today, Albright expresses curiosity in understanding how a younger, post 9/11 generation responds to Contact Improvisation. "Over the last few years, I have become increasingly intrigued by my students' responses, both immediate and considered, to questions about how Contact informs their lives."
Submissions for the publication and inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org