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Finding inspiration in solo movement through exploration of changing balance

Contact Improvisation offers extraordinary opportunities to explore movement cooperation with others and oneself. I've been investigating a question about how to find the inspiration that can come from dancing with others in solo moving. I had been exploring a practice for a long time before the COVID pandemic. Having to concentrate on solo moving during the pandemic has given me the opportunity to resolve some questions about how to describe the practice and its purpose, enough so that I feel ready to describe it.It's based in the small dance that Steve Paxton associates with the stand, also informed by Nancy Stark Smith's finger dance.The Basic ScoreAfter stretching a little I standTime happens. I gradually notice more about what's happening in my body.Eventually I notice some small movements – shifts of weight, displacement from breathing, and needing to adjust my position; everything counts.Eventually I might notice very slow shifting – gradual tendencies in a dire…
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Blogger silently drops comments submitted by Safari in embedded-comments mode

We've noticed that comments submitted from Apple Safari (Mac or iPhone) are dropped without any notification if the blog is set with Comment location = Embedded. Having set it to Pop up (I think), it worked. We're going to try some more tests. That's what this post is for!
From the comments testing we discovered some useful things: Using Comment location = embedded:Is necessary to enable replying to specific comments.Comments posted from Safari (laptop or iOS) are silently dropped. It looks to the person posting the comment that it went through, but the blog moderator sees no sign of it at all.Using Comment location = Pop up or Full page:Inhibits option to reply to other comments – no comment threadsEnables comments from SafariThe trade-off is clear. Losing comments from people who think they submitted them successfully is not acceptable. Particularly from a prominent browser (currently estimated to be a bit less than 4% of users). I just hate to lose comment threading – it&…

Exploring Adaptation of the Underscore for Online Practice

I had early experience with the Underscore a few times while Nancy Stark Smith was developing it, before she found a name for it. Since those early days it has gotten a name and continued to grow, and it has become a practice for many, many groups around the world. I have been leading Underscores for the DC Sunday jam almost every month since the December 2013. I love how the Underscore works, love the sharing situation that it tends to foster. In recent days of the Coronavirus quarantine, a group exploring sharing of movement online has started to explore adapting the Underscore for online sharing. I've had the opportunity to try what others are doing, and an opportunity to adapt it for an online session myself. I wonder, can we arrive online at the often open and receptive shared presence if can foster? I'm not sure, but believe that something is possible.Whatever we discover, I know it will be different from an in-person Underscore. Online meetings are different in crucial …

A Contemplative Movement Online Score

Barbara Dilley developed a shared dance/meditation practice called Contemplative Dance Practice – CDP, a "dancer's meditation hall". I've been exploring adaptation of this score for online sharing. The aim is to share meditation and movement across the gap of social distancing. (See below the score description for online meeting logistics and further info about the practices.)

(The framing of this score is a work in progress, continuing to change. Revision information is at the bottom.)
Score DescriptionThe score is divided into sections. At the beginning of each timed section the facilitator says which section it is and arranges for a bell to sound at the beginning and the end of that section. Opening Circle: Time for brief introductions / check-ins and to review the outline of the score (essentially, the bold headers below).Meditation: 15 minutes for stillness. In the original score the participants share sitting meditation. We invite whatever meditation method works …

We're all freaking out a little, and when we're not aware of that we unintentionally amplify each other's fear

The title kind of says it all, but maybe it'll help to substantiate it.

I've noticed "emotional weather" in many social contexts, where commonly known incidents - negative or positive - have cultural ripples, in which people tend to "infect" one another with brightness or dismay, tension or ease, whatever it might be depending on the circumstances. Actual weather, like the first warm sunny days of Spring or extended gray and chill in winter, can have ripples like I mean. Cultural events, like unexpected gestures of deep decency or diplomatic crisis and breakdowns, or the release of a new album by a beloved group. Whatever kind of thing it might be, all these things can lead to a small undercurrent of emotion in many people, and the mutuality of these small changes can register between them, reinforcing the sense of ease or unease, all without the people experiencing them explicitly recognizing that it's happening.

One context where I get to explore glim…

An Accumulation Score for Ensemble Movement

Many people are acquainted with the notion of conventional musical scores, which describe what musicians should do to perform a song/piece. No matter how specific the instructions, it can't be perfectly complete. It's always necessary for the person performing the score to make choices of their own - particular emphases and cadences and whatever it is that establishes what the performer expects is best to realize the piece. At the other end of the spectrum, improvised pieces can have scores also. Those scores don't generally use standard notation, but instead describe some parameters of the piece in some way, leaving many aspects up to the participants. This accumulation score is one such movement improvisation score.

I don't recall where I first learned about it, nor do I recall the exact instructions I received in the various times I've been exposed to it. The ones below are my own take on it, but I expect they're similar to those that many others have also d…

Current Perspective on COVID-19 Coronavirus (from someone else)

I'm copying the following from a post by someone else - a fellow named Rex, on a mailing list named Twister - because Rex is one of those rare people who basically is always sensible and informative when he speaks - always worth listening - and I'm hungry for some clear perspective on COVID-19, and think others might appreciate it, too. And, selfishly, have an easy place to find it for my own future reference.

To not get too carried away, though the guy is smart he's does not omniscient, and things might develop differently than he expects. I find this helps me get a sense of proportion on what is currently known, but not more than that.


March 3, Rex:

It's a virus which hopped from animals to people.  Happens now and then.Kinda flu-like symptoms, but greater severity, especially for older orunwell people.  There have been influenza strains that are approximately asbad, but not for a long time.  (The H1N1 outbreak of 1918 probably hadslightly lower mortality rates, but …

How and why multiple dispatch is good (Julia vs Python)

I'm really interested in the programming language, Julia, for several reasons, multiple dispatch being prominent among them. (I have some painful contortions in the Python implementation of my speculative programming project, Spherical. The contortions would not be necessary if Python was implemented with efficient multiple dispatch.) I thinkthis videogets at the essence of multiple dispatch's virtue.
Unfortunately it's a video, who has time for that? The distilled message is that the multiple dispatch (multimethods) solvesThe Expression Problem, and that's not a small thing. It's an oblique way of saying that it's a more comprehensive way to do procedural composition than other approaches, and so fundamentally has greater potential for comprehensibility. Composition is the essence of building stuff, and comprehensibility is the factor that governs collaboration between people - including, for that matter, of a person with themself over time.
I love Python, bu…