Bristol CI: The Underscore


5:00 pm - 8:30 pm


DMAC, (4th Floor) Hamilton House
80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY

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Curious about the Underscore?
Enjoying practicing Underscore?
Come to this long facilitated Underscore practice on Sunday! From 5pm-8:30pm.

In my own words and experience: The Underscore is a framework for improvisational dance (including Contact Improvisation), developed by Nancy Stark Smith, based in her research and observation of the states of sensation and awareness that naturally occur while improvising.

Essentially it is a long focused Jam, where you are invited and challenged to follow the prescribed and described stages of personal warm up, group warm up, coming in and out of contact and finally stages of dancing the open score. When practiced well it can be a great way to experience integrated, all inlcusive and rich jam environment.

It describes phases in the dance where there is confusion, loss of focus, responsive tone, flowing focus and gives permission to embrace these phenomena and keep on dancing.

If you’d like to read about the Underscore, please check this info
There is a video footage of Nancy explaining Underscore (with me simultaneously translating it into Polish!) that is really helpful of understanding of it and how it can be done!

What do you need to know before coming?

If you are unfamiliar with the Underscore please turn up at 5pm and get an indepth explanation of the phases of the score. I will offer a detailed talk-through of the practice, where we will not dance for half an hour. If sitting down and being talked at is not what you like, and you know you could do with a refresher I encourage you to ask yourself honestly – how will I benefit from hearing about the underscore and add to over all experience of the whole group? I will not offer much explanation as we dance the score, so other than signs on the wall and occasional prompts from me you will be expected to know what you are doing 😊

If you are familiar with the practice please you are welcome to come at 5:30 pm and join in with consciousness of the underscore already happening in the space. We will begin together as an Assembly. Secondly, in case you didn’t know here is News Flash for you: As of December 2016, Nancy has renamed the phase formerly called “Pow-Wow,” which is a focused gathering of the Underscore players—a coming together to meet, check in, sow seeds for practice in the early part of the score. It is now called Assembly.

This is a practice for all, those who would like to learn a new way of being in the jam as well as those seasoned dancers – come and investigate your relationship to Underscore, its correlations to CI, contemplation, composition, listening/music, performance, and other interest.

Ideally you are committing to staying for the entire stretch of time between 5-8:30. It is a long time, so if you already know you need extra snacks and drink or tea please come prepared. I will bring a couple of flasks of hot drink – ginger tea and regular tea. You are of course free to stay as long as you like, but make sure you start with the whole group at 5:30 sharp!

For more information feel free to contact the teacher/facilitator or We send out regular emails of class descriptions, to get these, please sign-up to our mailing list.