UNDERSCORE 2021–2022

Contact Dojo 
Oct 31, Nov 14, Nov 28, Dec 12, 1:30–4:30 pm
Northampton, MA USA
Northampton Seasonal Underscore 
Dec 5, 2021
Talk-Thru 11:30 am–12:30 pm
(recommended for everyone; required if you are new)
Practice 1:30–5:00 pm
Please read description below.
Karuna Yoga, 25 Main St, 3rd Fl, Northampton, MA 01060 USA

COVID Safety: be vaccinated and tested
$5–7 for Talk-Thru if new (free if returning)
$15–$25–$35 sliding scale

Global Underscore (GUS)  June 18 or 25, 2022 TBD Info
CI@50 Critical Mass  
July 7–11, 2022
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Underscore +/- Group
Northampton, MA USA
Sunday 1:30–3:30 pm (outside) & Thursday 6–9 pm (inside)
Invitation only. Experience required. Info
Contemplative Dance Practice 
Fridays 1:30–2:30 pm (outside) 
Invitation only. Info

The Underscore is a long-form dance improvisation structure developed by Nancy Stark Smith. It has been evolving since 1990 and is practiced all over the globe.
The Underscore is a vehicle for incorporating Contact Improvisation into a broader arena of improvisational dance practice; for developing greater ease dancing in spherical space—alone and with others; and for integrating kinesthetic and compositional concerns while improvising. It allows for a full spectrum of energetic and physical expressions, embodying a range of forms and changing states. Its practice is familiar yet unpredictable.

The practice progresses through a broad range of dynamic states, including long periods of very small, private, and quiet internal activity and other times of higher energy and interactive dancing.

There are 20+ phases, 12+ connections, and 7+ aspects of the score—each represented by a "glyph"—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.
The Northampton Underscores are facilitated by Patrick Crowley and others as a focused space for CI and dance improvisation. The Underscore is not led with verbal cues, so the idea is that people "know" it and come together to share the practice. Participants come on time and stay for the duration, which is 3–4 hours in length. Underscores are open to people who have a firm base in Contact Improvisation (CI), have an interest in improvisation and composition, and participate in at least one hour-long Underscore talk-through. Please keep this in mind when talking to people about coming to the event and invite people personally, rather than making public announcements about it. 
A full talk-through of the Underscore takes about an hour ("indepth" talk-throughs are 2-3 hours) and are done before most Underscores (for $5-7 sliding scale for first time). Dancers are encouraged to come to many talk-throughs (free for repeat talk-throughs). 

The Northampton Seasonal Underscore cost is $15–$25–$35 sliding scale.

The GLOBAL UNDERSCORE (GUS) is an annual event in which the Underscore is practiced simultaneously for a 4-hour period by people all over the world near the summer solstice (northern hemisphere). There have been 70+ sites participating in GUS in recent years. 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. There is a global in-dpeth talk-through of the Underscore a week before GUS and a "meta-sharing" a week after GUS. Patrick Crowley, Sarah Young, Colleen Bartley, and Nicole Touzien coordinate GUS with Nancy Hughes and Brandin Steffensen as advisors. For the most recent news on the Global Underscore, go to: www.globalunderscore.com

Nancy Stark Smith's and David Koteen's book about her life and work (with a section about the Underscore): Caught Falling: A Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas
What is Contact Improvisation?

Patrick Crowley  •  617.320.9792  •  email

Integrative Bodywork & Massage
160 Main Street, Suite 9, Northampton, MA 01060   map