The effects of vinyasa flow yoga on contact improvisation in a festival setting Contact Festival Dartington, University College Falmouth, July 2012

Dougan Bowtell, Kayla (2012) The effects of vinyasa flow yoga on contact improvisation in a festival setting Contact Festival Dartington, University College Falmouth, July 2012. In: Contact Festival Dartington, 28th July - 5th August, University College Falmouth. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Between 28th July and 5th August 2012 I led morning Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes as part of
the scheduled events at the Contact Festival Dartington, University College Falmouth. I am
currently collating feedback from participants to feed into a paper that will be submitted
to Contact Quarterly.

www.contactquarterly.com/
http://www.contactfestivaldartington.co.uk/

Abstract
The effects of Vinyasa Flow Yoga on Contact Improvisation in a Festival Setting.

Contact Improvisation is a dance form that emerges through the physical contact of two bodies, which in any given moment negotiate the physical laws of gravity, momentum and inertia. In order to do this, dancers of this form develop skills to fall, roll, give and receive weight. They work to tune an alert and responsive body, without the baggage of excess muscular tension, and with this, develop the skills to live moments of physical disorientation without injury to themselves or their partner.

Over the past decade Contact Improvisation festivals have boomed, bringing together
dancers from across the globe and in doing so spreading, developing and refining the form.
Festivals host between 40 – 300 dancers of varying experience. It is usual for festivals to be
residential and last between four to ten days. It is not uncommon for dancing to begin at
10.00 and to continue until 02.00 the following morning; a feast of classes, jams, and
research labs.

Despite the intensity of contact festivals, serious injury requiring emergency care is rare. However, muscular tweaks and severe muscular imbalances are common. These often occur due to dancers favouring one side of the body more than another, the repetition of idiosyncratic patterning, engaging in overly-energetic dances before the body is ready, and bearing too much of another’s weight. By incorporating yoga classes within the structure of the festival I aimed to provide an alternative way of preparing the body for the day’s work in a way that was mindful, strengthening, lengthening and balancing for the body, and individually focused.

This approach was piloted at the Contact Festival Dartington, July 2012 and is currently being written up. It attends to participants’ awareness of recurring injuries triggered through participation in contact improvisation; common areas of bodily stress developed through the form and attended to in the yoga practice; participants’ awareness of muscular balance and imbalance throughout the festival as heightened or diminished by starting the day with yoga; fluctuations and tendencies in individual modes of preparation to dance; and participants’ felt sense of wellbeing and endurance throughout the festival.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information:Between 28th July and 5th August 2012 I led morning Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes as part of the scheduled events at the Contact Festival Dartington, University College Falmouth. I am currently collating feedback from participants to feed into a paper that will be submitted to Contact Quarterly. www.contactquarterly.com/ http://www.contactfestivaldartington.co.uk/ Abstract The effects of Vinyasa Flow Yoga on Contact Improvisation in a Festival Setting. Contact Improvisation is a dance form that emerges through the physical contact of two bodies, which in any given moment negotiate the physical laws of gravity, momentum and inertia. In order to do this, dancers of this form develop skills to fall, roll, give and receive weight. They work to tune an alert and responsive body, without the baggage of excess muscular tension, and with this, develop the skills to live moments of physical disorientation without injury to themselves or their partner. Over the past decade Contact Improvisation festivals have boomed, bringing together dancers from across the globe and in doing so spreading, developing and refining the form. Festivals host between 40 – 300 dancers of varying experience. It is usual for festivals to be residential and last between four to ten days. It is not uncommon for dancing to begin at 10.00 and to continue until 02.00 the following morning; a feast of classes, jams, and research labs. Despite the intensity of contact festivals, serious injury requiring emergency care is rare. However, muscular tweaks and severe muscular imbalances are common. These often occur due to dancers favouring one side of the body more than another, the repetition of idiosyncratic patterning, engaging in overly-energetic dances before the body is ready, and bearing too much of another’s weight. By incorporating yoga classes within the structure of the festival I aimed to provide an alternative way of preparing the body for the day’s work in a way that was mindful, strengthening, lengthening and balancing for the body, and individually focused. This approach was piloted at the Contact Festival Dartington, July 2012 and is currently being written up. It attends to participants’ awareness of recurring injuries triggered through participation in contact improvisation; common areas of bodily stress developed through the form and attended to in the yoga practice; participants’ awareness of muscular balance and imbalance throughout the festival as heightened or diminished by starting the day with yoga; fluctuations and tendencies in individual modes of preparation to dance; and participants’ felt sense of wellbeing and endurance throughout the festival.
Keywords:Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Contact Improvisation, Dance Festival, Health, Injury, Presence
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W500 Dance
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Performing Arts
ID Code:6463
Deposited By: Kayla Bowtell
Deposited On:08 Oct 2012 09:19
Last Modified:08 Oct 2012 09:24

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