Travelling on floor level and in standing

Thoughts for preparing an intermediate/advanced CI workshop in Warsaw

In my teaching I usually focus a lot on how to keep the shared weight moving while dancing through all spacial levels. How do we lift each other and how do we get smoothly and safely to the floor are core questions? In this workshop I don’t want to work on these transitions. Instead I want to explore travelling on floor level and on standing level very separately and neglect the question how to get from the floor up and from standing down to the floor again. Bodysurfing works deeply on the center patterns, finding an alive dialogue between juicy power, soft inner connections and an elastic reach. Dealing with full weight over a long period of time builds up trust in giving and receiving weight and it irresistibly seduces into physical listening. With the emphasize on travelling the weight will constantly swim back and forth, up and down and through space.

Travelling in standing level with touch but not so much weight triggers the spinal patterns, with an extending spine that frees the arms and opens the visual and spacial awareness. A constant sense of (minimal) falling, catching balance into a next fragile balance will bring an alert sense of openness and readiness to the hip joints and legs make the dance slosh left and right, forward and backwards floating unpredictably through the space with little down and up movements.

Direct links between these rather different levels and body organisations are a sense of gentle acceleration and slowing down. We usually call it momentum. In bodysurfing the inner elasticity of the bodies create suspension and successive movements that travel through one body and from there into the partners body and back again. The fascia-web is the central system for this quality for movement and also communication (swimming and pulling under the skin).

In standing a similar sense of dynamic and elasticity happens through the constantly redirected falling weight. The communication through touch is – on a skin to skin level – the same as in body surfing, but with less weight involved and mainly exchanged by the hands, instead of center to center.

The bodies will (hopefully) become comfortable on both spacial levels and naturally develop an urge to switch between the two. All the work on the floor should reduce the fear of falling onto the hard floor. Changing levels might become an irresistible research for the dancers.

Let’s see how this approach works out!!!

A short comment from after the workshop

It was such a pleasure to finally work intensely on bodysurfing. I am touched to see how much excitement and ease people found through this work. Going in and out of touch was appearing more and more. It felt like were all well fed with touch and weight by establishing these strong and juicy center to center connections. A natural desire appeared to look for more spacial freedom while loving to come back to the comforting touch and weight – also in more risky ways, like throwing one’s center towards people. The ability to soften very quickly through all the body-surfing helped a lot to make this urge appear and still safe.

So, now I know that working intensely on body surfing can be rewarding. But I still wonder, how to make it attractive for people to sign up for a workshop with this topic.