If ballet is the “negation of weight” (Kuppers 2000, 123), I would say that Contact Improvisation is the negotiation of weight.

Petra Kuppers (2000) Accessible Education: Aesthetics, bodies and disability, Research in Dance Education, 1:2, 119-131.


To say that ballet is the foundation of dance is like saying that French Cuisine is the foundation of food.

Assume Perfection

I would guess that every famous painter, dancer, author, i.e., artist was derided as terrible by some authority or the authorities of his or her time when s/he first came on the scene.  “Howl” by Ginsberg was thought to be horrible and people tried to have it banned.  Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime. Elvis was hated by parents for his pelvis. The Rite of Spring caused a riot. 

But now all of those artists are famous, lauded, canonized.  The works haven’t changed.  The context changed.

Therefore, all work is worthy of praise and deserves to be canonized.

All that needs to be changed is the context.

Therefore, do whatever the %#!?+ you want and wait for everyone else to catch up.

And assume it’s perfect!

The port de bras and the coolest new lift you just learned in contact class have just as much to with contact improvisation as the fist bump. All three can be done while in contact and while improvising.

All three events are small bit of choreography that can be done inside the larger frame of contact improvisation.