Riding The Curves of Spacetime: Falling and Flying
by Ray Chung
In physics, gravity can be seen as the curvature of space around massive objects, such as the earth. We evoke the image of riding these curves as a way of moving in the field of gravity, and playing in this field as a way to develop proficiency with the skills and approaches necessary for leaving the ground, moving through the air, and landing safely, in the context of Contact Improvisation (CI).
Focusing on essentials of grounding, centering, intention, and moving support, we’ll move onto weight modulation, creating levity, precision in locating centers, developing the optimum tonus and alignment for sudden weight shifts, and more. The emphasis will be on creating pathways and opportunities to move out of the floor and into the air, or onto your partner, instead of lifting and carrying. Catching and jumping as a way to initiate contact, and creating continuity through supporting the movement rather than the weight of one’s partner, will be one of the practices. Playing on the edge of what is possible for each participant, we will challenge one’s self to really “go for it” in aerial movement and landing/catching strategies and techniques. How do I use someone’s weight and movement in a way that creates more choices for both of us? We’ll practice integrating our centers with another’s seamlessly as well as awkwardly. Crashing and bumping safely will also be part of the vocabulary we will develop. Integration of these practices into dancing will also be included. For all levels of experienced participants.
Ray Chung is a performer, teacher, engineer, and artist who has a passion for dancing which he likes to share with other people. His main focus is improvisation and he has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice and integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement. Ray has worked with the leading proponents of Contact Improvisation including Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Nita Little, Lisa Nelson, Peter Bingham, Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, and regularly collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other artists. Ray has also been certified as an instructor of shiatsu by the Shiatsu Education Center of America in 1982, and has studied with Wataru Ohashi, Ryuho Yamada, and Shizuto Masunaga. His work has been featured at numerous national and international festivals and venues, and has performed in works directed by Anna Halprin, Judith Kajiwara, and George Coates Performance Works. Currently based in San Francisco & Sweden, Ray regularly teaches abroad.
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