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Re: dancing loops

In a message dated 9/23/2002 10:24:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Nemoguitt@aol.com writes:

i have an idea but im not totally hip to this "CONTACT IMPROV" which we have been talking about for the past few days.....kinda like kims "omd's".....please help out an old guy that dont get out much!.....is ci with dancers only or is it bigger than that?.....and have no fear, with that 3/4 2/4 1/4 16/95 time suff im completely out of that playground.....if it aint 4/4 or 3/4  its a sin!!!!.....michael

     Oh, but it's a sin to limit yourself to 4/4 & 3/4 ;-). Actually it's not very hard to play odd meters or mixed meters. The only thing to do is to get familar with them. The music of many other cultures is full of odd meter structures. For some reason people in the US just haven't been dancing in 7/4, or 5/8 (unless of course you are a professional dancer). Odd meters, and even a little mixed meter has made it into Pop over the years (Peter Gabriel's Salisbury Hill - 7/4, the intro to the Allman Bros Whipping Post - 11/8, etc., etc., etc.).
     In dance, Contact Improv is really focused on a lot of, well, contact and weight sharing. For the dancer, it actually takes a lot of practice and trust. You have to learn how to safely give your weight to another person without overwhelming them or possibly injuring them. You also have be to prepared to take the weight of another dancer at any time. I guess you could say that the experienced dancer develops a certain sixth-sense about it. I will say that I am not a dancer. While I have seen a lot of Contact Improv, and I have done some dance improv, I haven't really done Contact Improv. So, someone that has more personnal experience with it can give you more details. Dance Improv tends to be more theatrical, while Contact Improv tends to have more of a spiritual flow to it.
     It's one thing to improvise with other musicians. It's a totally different thing to add dancers into it. I guess you could say that when the dancers get added it's like putting on 3D glasses.