To get in touch, Slovakia
Even if words lack the ability to transfer the energy, the warmth and the whole point of all these moments that took place there, we will try to find the proper ones to describe the experience we had, these days at the training course, in Slovakia, in this earthy Wonderland called Lovinka. These moments now might seem far away but they are for sure deeply engraved inside the synapses of our subconscious minds.The subject of the course was Contact Improvisation. It contained less speech and more expression, less thought and more action, more TOUCH in general… We experienced that primordial urge to get in touch with other human beings and nature. The necessity to give and to receive. The need to forgive and to be forgiven. Because in fact we were never separate.
The experience at Lovinka was an educational course regarding alternative ways of life. It was a restart for us, as human beings, to remember our true needs through our true nature. For that, it worked out to our advantage that we were far away from big cities. The touch between us and the natural world made us realise how the modern times force us to disconnect not only from nature but also from our bodies, from other people, from organic food or even the sky. I think that this was the point of “get in touch”, not to be a dancer but how to “dance” every day into your daily life to feel joyful and free.
A remarkable part was the “families”. Families were something like a social experiment demonstrating first of all that society could work within a team as families did, without leadership. Secondly, it demonstrates that there were not specialized work/jobs according to the genders, specifically referring to “hard” work like chopping the woods or easy ones like laundry. Daily movement actually made us feel free of social stereotypes, by all working equally and respectfully through team work.
Before this training course we had stereotypes for certain types of dance e.g. contemporary dance. We thought that if someone wants to dance like that he must be a dancer or a student at a dance school. At this training course we had the chance to stop over-thinking about what dance is and realize that simplicity can get us further. We understood that every person can dance as he or she wants and this is accepted. Moreover, to have contact with another person creates the feelings of mind and body connection, the feelings of connections like a healing process that we must keep in our lives as a natural habit.
As for the organizations that handled this course, we are struggling to find anything that went wrong. All the entities responsible for the course did respect everybody’s individuality and gave their best to fulfill this process which would bring us closer to our inner voice. The training course was well-organized, comprehendible and easy-going. The pedagogical tools of non-formal education made us clear every step of the training. Furthermore, both inner-work and team work were supported through the “reflection times” and the training finished in a holistic way when we created, facilitated and reflected on our families’ exercise.
Now that the course came to an end and we came back home we feel like we have something to pass on. In Anastasios’ case, being in the fitness industry for some years, he has seen many fads and trends trying to promote the best way to move, exercise and treat your body. Through these trends they are creating a series of movements and motifs as a mold and then convince people to follow them as gospel. People, in general terms, feel more confident when someone else navigates them, as they don’t have to think for themselves. But this way of act is devitalizing people’s creativity. Humanity is not just a body, something that can be placed inside a mold and be expected to get the same results over and over again. We have emotions and free will that needs to be expressed. Contact improvisation (CI) takes into consideration these factors and gives you space, time and countless ways to express your personality without being judged. Having said all that, Anastasios will use this experience as a tool in his job to have people cast their doubt on stereotypical aspects regarding their everyday life and for recreational purposes.
When it comes to Denise, she has already changed some things, starting from her daily nutrition. She still maintains healthier food as the ones we enjoyed at Lovinka. She has already started participating in CI jams. For us, CI is something that we learned from this training course, so it has given us the opportunity to add dance in our everyday lives. We will keep dancing in our lives for sure as a hobby or as a way to give and receive to others. At a professional level we can support dance movements which include CI in our country and participate as assistants. In one week we learnt so many things but knowledge never ends, so we will continue through CI to explore ourselves and our skills. In Athens there is an idea to start some free jams, with a company from students who have had previous experience with CI, at the University of Athens so that students with low budgets can attend as well.
Last but not least, when it comes to Ero, the sense of pelvis and a fluid spine remains. She already shared some CI techniques with her friends that they all enjoyed and experienced the layers of contact, the entering and exiting of another person’s skin layer, and the giving and receiving of body weight. Dance and touch have become a daily routine of her life and she feels grateful for that. When it comes to a “professional” approach, familiar people in her home city, that are related either to theatre or general body activities, asked Ero to have a three-day seminar, to introduce the CI. She is preparing to deliver not only the techniques but
also the feeling that the course gave to her. As for future plans, maybe a professional contact improvisator could lead a seminar to enhance the popularity of CI and have more people participate.
Thank you for inspiring us, we will spread the word!
10/2/2019, Crete, Athens, Kastoria