Global Underscore 2017

Facilitated by Patrick Crowley and Sarah Young

June 24, 2017 -
10:00am to 2:00pm

Programming category: 
~Please arrive at least 15 minutes early~
(to allow for social arrival & simply getting to the studio)
8:30-9:30am Talk-through (required for those who have not attended one before; recommended to all to refresh and deepen the practice!)
10am-2pm Practice
2pm Lunch
Register by June 23rd (discount)
$15 - $30 Sliding Scale: Talk-through + Practice
Register on June 24th (day-of rate)
$25 - $40 Sliding Scale: Talk-through + Practice
$10 Lunch
To register: RSVP to 
(please list if you plan to attend the Talk-through and/or stay for lunch)
The GLOBAL UNDERSCORE (GUS) is an annual event in which the Underscore is practiced simultaneously for a 4 hour period by people all over world near the summer/winter solstice (northern/southern hemisphere). There are 50+ sites.
Claire Filmon proposed the event to Nancy Stark Smith in 2000 from a desire to connect dancers all around the planet to dance and compose together in the moment; she organized it until 2010. Brandin Steffensen and Nancy Hughes have organized GUS since 2013.
The summer Global Underscore in Western Massachusetts is facilitated by Patrick Crowley and Sarah Young. Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas will be in Estonia doing the GUS there.
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 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.

The Underscore is open to people who have a firm base in CI, have an interest in improvisation/composition, and participate in at least one hour-long Underscore talk-through.
Please keep these requirements in mind when talking to people about coming to the event and please refrain from making public announcements about it. Also plan to be on time to the event and stay for the whole time period. It will not be led with verbal cues - the idea is that people “know” it and come together to share the practice.
For more information on the Underscore, read the Underscore chapter in Nancy’s book: Caught Falling: The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas.