The GLOBAL UNDERSCORE (GUS) is an annual event in which the Underscore is practised simultaneously for a 3–4 hour period by people all over the world near the summer solstice (northern hemisphere). There have been 50-70+ sites participating in GUS in recent years.
A quick background context to GUS:
Claire Filmon proposed the event to Nancy in 2000 from a desire to connect dancers all around the planet to dance and to compose together in the moment.
This year GUS falls on Saturday the 23rd June and Bristol haven’t got a pleasure to dance in synchronicity with the communities around the globe so we will do a post GUS Sunday practice! Yay! Celebrating 3 phenomena: summer solstice, dance as a practice to develop ourselves and our improvising dancing (and music making) friedns around the world.
The Underscore is a framework for practising Contact Improvisation Dance in its broader applications, invented by Nancy Stark Smith. It offers an opportunity to express the felt kinesthetic selves and the artistic compositional selves as dancers improvise and create movement together and in and out of relation to the whole.
On the GUS blog we read:
“There are 20+ phases of the score—each with a name and a graphic symbol—which create a general map for the dancers. Within that frame, dancers are free to create their own movements, dynamics, and relationships—with themselves, each other, the group, the music, and the environment. Each Underscore is unique, providing rich and often inspiring experiences of the human and artistic phenomena of dance improvisation.”
It is a long dance improvisation score and usually takes 3-4 hours. We are going for a 3.5 hr timeframe, inclusive of approximately 30 mins talk through the score for those who are unfamilair with the Underscore (must attend!).
The old and new Underscore practitioners will come together at around 5:30 pm in the Assembly (first stage) followed by a Small Dance and next stages of the Underscore.
There will be live improvised music from Simon Leach and Ian Popperwell, following a musical interpretation of the phases of the underscore.