It’s being a while I’m settled around Lisbon, and keeping a constant practice in Contact Improvisation with the community here.
This fact has given me the chance to go deeper in the exploration of this practice with some other movers.
This was the case with Joel da Silva, who’s got a very specific approach to the movement and the Contact Improvisation practice. I remember when I first met him dancing I was so amaze about the different and weird places he brought me in.
We got closer and we decided to share our experience together in this project we call ‘PuZZling BodieS’.
PuZZling at first because this idea of how bodies cross each other creating perfect puzzles together, but looking for the meaning in English, we found out that Puzzling also means _mysterious_.
Definetely we have a lot of that [mystery]
We made a series of 3 intensives in Lisbon, one per month in January, February and March and then I also brought this approach to CI to North Spain in May.
Our aim with these intensives we offer, is to reset patterns of movement we have very installed in our bodies, to open the box of the imagination and dare to try new things in the interactions during the dances.
We want to get very involved the participants in the process, so we encourage them to bring a notebook and to register their process, and then to pose suggestions of ideas, struggles and wishes they would like to experiment there within the group. So we create specific dynamics to develop their demands.
At last, as a gift, we all experienced the ‘instant composition process’ performing in front of a part of the group. Beautiful moments we have co-created in just some minutes of preparation.
I feel very grateful to have plant these seeds, to have created this structure of work and hopefully continuing spreading it!!
I share some of the feedbacks we have received, and it’s not just about words, because I really see the shift in some movers that regularly join the jams here in Lisbon.
'Joel and Irene are two experienced dancer that bring creativity, technicality, and love into their offerings. I especially enjoyed the performance proposal in one of the workshop I attended.’
'Irene and Joel have a complementary approach making the workshop both technical and playful. I have learnt new tools/tricks to enlarge my practice of CI, discover new combinations and movements, make the dance more contrasted and richer. And I had a lot of fun, cherry on the cake being the final mini performance we did at the end of the workshop :) ‘
“Puzzling Bodies, to me, is like a paradigm shift in the way we think about Contact Improvisation. After some years the modality of CI can become repetitive and predictable. This workshop will allow you the tools to break free from that and step into a new movement paradigm. Many of us come to a somatic practice to learn and embody tools we can use outside of the dance. This workshop cultivates an ability to shift paradigms and be curious and playful.” Michelle Harvey