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June 24/25 Solstice Underscore

For the last few years there has been an annual simultaneous practice of Nancy Stark Smith's Underscore (a framework score for CI and improvisational dance practice) in locations around the globe including Europe, Australia, and the USA. This year on June 24/25 again there will be an opportunity for those practicing CI and the Underscore to connect to the larger community of those engaged in the same process of research in other cities, countries or continents.

The following are details were posted on a listserve for known participants about times and locations of participating groups and individuals. If you are experienced in the underscore and would like to participate, either contact one of the organizers listed, or consider being a satellite and doing the practice from your home town/country with us all. For more information contact:

Consider as a reference that in Northampton the practice will be from 7pm to 11pm on Saturday evening and in Paris from 1am to 5am on Sunday morning. We start from the far west as the direction for the opening small dance is towards the east:

Los Angeles, California, saturday june 24th, 4-8 pm, facing Northampton

Northampton, Massachussetts, saturday june 24th, 7-11 pm, facing Nantes

Nantes, France, sunday june 25th, 1-5 am, facing La Rochelle

La Rochelle, France, sunday june 25th, 1-5 am, facing Nerigean

Nerigean (near Bordeaux), France, sunday june 25th, 1-5 am, facing London

London, U.K., sunday june 25th, 0-4 am, facing Paris

Paris, France, sunday june 25th, 1-5 am, facing Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands, sunday june 25th, 1-5 am, facing Bern

Bern, Switzerland, sunday june 25th, 1-5 am, facing Helsinki,

Helsinki, Finland, sunday june 25th, 2-6 am, facing Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia, sunday june 25th, 9 am-1 pm, facing Sidney

Sidney, Australia, sunday june 25th, 9 am-1 pm, facing Los Angeles

Remember that for the closing small dance we'll be facing the opposite direction towards the group who was behind us during the first small dance, a compass and a map can be usefull!!!

Let's keep in mind and add a thinking for the people who will be with us as satellites, they will accompany us and supporting the practice during both small dances, at least for the opening onesince in Europe it might be quite tough to be present at 5 in the morning....

As a satellite, you can choose the closest city to the place where you will be, respecting the direction of the circle, here following our proposition in relation with the longitudes:

- Sarah Gray will dance near the lakes around Ottawa, Canada, facing Northampton for the opening small dance and Los Angeles for the closing one.

- Lorena Dozio in Angers, France, facing Nerigean(east of Bordeaux) first and La Rochelle at the end,

- Laurence Luminet in Normandie, France, facing La Rochelle first and Nantes at the end,

- Emilie Borgo in Verdun, France, facing Bern (Suisse) first and Amsterdam at the end,

- Tanja Striezel in K�ln, Germany, facing Bern (Suisse) first and Amsterdam at the end,

- Maxine Saborowski, Angela Kalis, Christine Mauch near Berlin, Germany, facing Helsinki first and Bern (Suisse) for the closing small dance.

Following is the list of the coordinators for each place and the level they chose for their practice, if it's possible, let us have the names of the people dancing in your group.... it's always surprising to discover that a friend will be dancing on the other side of the planet!!!

LOS ANGELES : Claire Filmon, Stephane L. and Richard Kim - Modified Score/ Jam "sur la plage de Santa Monica"

NORTHAMPTON : Nancy Stark Smith and Kristin Horrigan - Full Score Practice
"Our group will meet from 7 to 11 pm at the Karuna Center, on the third floor of 25 Main St. in Northampton. Nancy (Stark Smith) and myself (Kristin Horrigan) will be coordinating the practice for our area... It looks like we will be about 15 people:
Nancy Stark Smith, Kristin Horrigan, Juniper Talbot, Gamaliel Lodge, Jeff Bliss, Anneliese Mordhorst, Liana Foxvog, Andrew Marcus, Melinda Buckwalter, Patrick Crowley, Doug MacKenzie, Felice Wolfzahn, Ulla Makinen, Rafe Cohen, Rafe's friend Gabriel, Mark Zemelman, Jocasta Crofts, Klo, Michal Lahav...possibly Megan Boyd and Christine Doempke and whoever else shows up!

NANTES : Florent Cathala - Modified Score / Jam

LA ROCHELLE : Melanie Jolly, Amandine Roy, Ahmad Mohammadi, Gilles Marinaro

NERIGEAN (Bordeaux) : Tam Nguyen Minh - Modified Score

LONDON : Robert Anderson - Full Score Practice
Caroline Waters

PARIS : Aline Lecler, Marika Rizzi, Olivier Zuretti - Full Score Practice,
Studio "La Villa Mais d'Ici", Aubervilliers (North of Paris, near Porte de la Villette)
Stephanie Auberville, Benedicte Auge, Marion Bae, Edith Darees, Anais Heureaux, Marie-Annick Jagu, Veronique Lefevre, Laurence Mersegair, Anne-Catherine Nicoladz, Philippe Pinon, Estelle Royer, Daniela Schwartz, Michelle Tarento, Eric Vigo...possibly Sylvain Biquand

AMSTERDAM : Catiya Gainor

BERN : Peter Aerni and Tinu Hettich - Modified Score/ Jam

HELSINKI : Ronja Verkasalo - Modified Score / Jam

MELBOURNE : Hellene Gronda and Joey Lehrer - Full Score Practice

SIDNEY : Catherine Magill - Full Score Practice "We willl be dancing at "The Drill Hall" in Rushcutters Bay right on Sydney harbour."

Here is the time breakdown for the 4 hours which didn't change from last year:

Proposition : in Paris, we will meet an half and an hour before to make sure we will have the time to share all the informations before the preambulation. Feel free to do the same if you feel that it could help to stay in the timing together.

00:00 - 00:30 - Arriving (initial circle, names, notes for the practice, etc)

00:30 - 00:40 - "hello,go!" - It is a time for opening the mind and the energy to the other places and people might remember images,
people you know....etc. It is a creative time for each group to decide how to "connect" Perhaps people will choose to be alone, or maybe you do something as a group...up to you!!! We could also send good and positive thoughts towards the world hot points and people who might need it...

00:40 - 00:45 - Pre-ambulation (group circulates through the room, opening pathways in the space)

00:45 - Opening Small Dance (facing in the direction as we've written above for the circle)

After several minutes, on your own timing, this dance opens into the Full Score Practice of Nancy’s Score, or a Modified Score/Jam, or the rest of your evening if you are a satellite !)
more than 2 hours of dancing....

02h55 End (final resolution bell)

Take a few moments to find an end to this period of dancing in a final group image.

03:00 - 03:15 - Reflections (or quiet time,warm-down for those in the Modified Score/Jam)

03:15 - 03:50 - Harvest or Sharing (a circle where reflections are shared, spoken)

Modified score/jam group reflecting about score ideas for those practicing the score, or any images, sensations, tastes of the experience that you want to share.

- Final writing. You might use this time to write something together which will be shared later through email

03:50 - Closing Small Dance (facing the opposite direction toward the group who was behind you in the first small dance !!! compass and map could help here too) Satellites may be joining in again… Maybe this lasts fifteen minutes or not. Feel free to follow your own timing. Leave the small dance, and begin departing. Probably socializing happens after 04:00.

04:00 - "bye bye !" Final Bell. Departing (eating, drinking, socializing, you know...)

One more suggestion concerning few things easy to forget BUT quite important once you start the practice:

1) compass and map... ok this is clear...
2) a clock in order to be able to check the time at any moment and be together with all.
3) a bell or other to signal the last five minutes before resolution of the dancing and for the very end.
4) papers, pencils, colors for all kind of comunication ans artistic needs
5) water and drinks
5+) croissants for early breakfast in UE...

Here is the description of the 3 forms of participation (just for your interest)

A. FULL SCORE PRACTICE. You are a community of dancers in which every dancer present is a part of a serious exploration of the ideas/perceptions/principles operating in Nancy's score (and behind that, in her work (and your own work) with Contact Improvisation). This probably means that several of you have studied and/or practiced the score with Nancy directly. Since the event, for you, is about practicing the score, even 1 or 2 dancers who are not familiar with her work will change the quality of the practice. Please feel free to set limits based on experience, and to contact us with any questions…

B. MODIFIED SCORE/JAM. You are a community of dancers who have various levels of experience with Nancy’s work. You may have one person who has studied with Nancy, but in general your experience as a group is in " jamming " and exploring improvisation. You might feel more resonance with a more open participation. For example, you might open and close with the small dance, and in the dancing section, you warm-up individually, circulate a bit, find a first partner for a contact improvisation dance, and then move into an OPEN JAM format. You might even end together at the final resolution time, take some time for personal reflection, rest, or warm-down, and then have a circle of sharing at the end. The circle might not necessarily be a "harvest" in terms of the perceptions of Nancy’s score, but would be a rich way of sharing your experience.

C. SATELLITE. You want to participate but are unable to for many reasons : you are alone, you have an obligation, etc. You might join us for the opening and/or closing Small Dance (both would be great!) to sort of "click-in" to sense the dancing, and to give your support. You know enough about the small dance to be able to explore it deeply for that brief shared time.

About the Small Dance, we thought that an excerpt from a Steve’s interview could be a support:

"All you have to do is stand up and then relax –
you know – and at a certain point you realize that
you’ve relaxed everything that you can relax but
you’re still standing and in that standing is quite
a lot of minute movement… the skeleton holding you
upright even though you’re mentally relaxing (…)"

From CQ Sourcebook Vol3 1977-78, p23

Concerning the harvest we propose three possibilities :

1. During the dancing part of the score, for
harvesting, keep some blank pages, or a laptop open
in the space. The "on-going harvest" we called it.
This can eventually be shared over internet later

2. After the score is finished, we can go onto the
adress email : and send
harvests. The deadline for sending your harvests is
the 31st july. We will send a copy to each
coordinator email some weeks later.

3. A more in-depth harvest reflecting your
experiences and your vision for the future would be
welcome in the next months. This reflection you
might want to direct especially to us in the
underscore solstice email.

Thank you again for your collaboration, we are all starting to count the days off, please let us know if there's anything unclear as soon as possible and definetely we are looking forward to renew the experience with you !!!!

wishing you all a wonderful week,

Marika, Aline & Olivier
Swirly Motif

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