Contact Improvisation Book Available as E-book

Contact Improvisation

An act of love like so many books, Contact Improvisation: an Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance came out in print in 2006 after several years of writing. It took that long because I interviewed so many dancers around the country and abroad. I wrote the book because I loved the dance.

Still do. The dance remains among my greatest teachers.

Defining contact improvisation can be difficult. My elevator speech is to describe it as a combination of modern dance, aikido, gymnastics and yoga. The difficulty in Describing it especially difficult with someone with no dance experience.

Years ago when I taught writing in Malaysia, one of my students from a local indigenous tribe asked about what else I teach in the U.S.

“Contact Improvisation,” I said. It’s a type of modern dance.”

“What is modern dance,” he asked.

I tried to explain. “It has some similarities to jazz,” I said.

“What is jazz,” he asked.

“Improvisational music,” I replied.

“What is improvisation,” he asked.

Nearly thirty minutes passed in which we tossed words in search of common cultural understanding. He finally understood when I explained it as expressive dance.

Here’s a poetic excerpt from the prologue: “Let your body call you back into yourself, into your most deeply embodied self. Land, dive, soar. Find the crumbs that lead back home.”

If you’re an e-book reader wanting to know more about this improvised partnered dance, know that its electronic version is now available.

You can check it out here.

Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities Review

book reviewWhen I fleshtalk about my bodyflesh which brings to mindflesh organismic waves of fleshbeingspirit, my tendency, at least years ago, was to assert mental control over all of me in whatever way possible. Knowing, I was taught, occurs through rumination and cogitation, mental activity, the matter of my body – or any body – abstracted into tidy bits of information that can be arranged and ordered into fathomable categories. This way of thinking compartmentalizes us into body, spirit, and mind. Mind is the most reliable, the others fickle and worse. Best that we ignore, even denigrate them. Those guided by body Continue reading

Tango in a Glass Elevator

As a writer and dancer, I’m drawn to beauty. The need is nearly as strong as the one for water, food, and breath. Beauty supports an ongoing flow of vitality and inspires future creations. It lights the spark in my eye.

Which is why I had to dance tango with my partner Michael Noyes in the glass elevator Continue reading

What Poetry Means


Globular Star Cluster: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Virginia

Globular Star Cluster: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UVA

“What does your poetry mean?” asks another well-meaning reader. I stumble for a response, consider how much to say, how any answer misleads.

Mine is a poetry of breath and pulse, of blood and bone in a spiral with presence. In return, I may ask, “What does your body mean? What does a symphony mean? When we peer into the night, what meaning is there in the countless stars?”

My answer will fall short because Continue reading