T h e   G l o b a l   U n d e r s c o r e   2 0 1 7

a   t a l k   a n d   a   w o r l d - w i d e

s i m u l t a n e o u s   p r a c t i c e

Nancy and Juha Viitamäki, Helsinki, Finland, 2007

Global Underscore is included in the workshop, other WELCOME!

facilitated by NANCY STARK SMITH

Saturday, JUNE 24, 2017

talk thru: 11am – 1pm

practice: 5–9pm

Estonian time!

taking place at Viljandi Kesklinna Kool (Jakobsoni 42)

in Viljandi, ESTONIA

participation is FREE

previous registration required


Nancy Stark Smith, Helsinki, Finland

THE UNDERSCORE is a long-form contact/improvisation/jamming/composition score that Nancy Stark Smith has been developing since the early 1990s as a framework for dance improvisation research and practice. It guides dancers through a series of "changing states" — from solo relaxation and sensitizing to gravity and support, through warm up, group circulation and interaction, contact improvisation (CI) engagements, opening out into full group improvisation, and back to rest and reflection.

THE UNDERSCORE is a vehicle for integrating CI into a broader arena of improvisational dance practice, for developing greater freedom moving in spherical space, and for integrating kinesthetic and compositional concerns while improvising.

The four hours will include periods of small, quiet internal activity and other times of higher energy and interactive dancing. The 20+ phases of the score — each with a name and a graphic symbol — create a general map for the dancers. Within that frame, they are free to create their own movements, dynamics, and relationships — with themselves, each other, the group, and the environment.

There will be a 2 hour Underscore talk-through on Saturday morning at 11am given by Nancy. The talk-thru is required for those who haven’t been to a detailed Underscore talk-thru with Nancy before (or not in the last few years). It will provide some background and outline the structure in detail, to be followed later on Saturday by the physical practice itself, facilitated by Nancy.

For the past 16 years, a GLOBAL UNDERSCORE has been occurring near the summer solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere!). Conceived by French dancer Claire Filmon, the Global Underscore Solstice is an annual event during which dancers at many sites around the world practice the Underscore simultaneously.

Our Estonia Underscore will be one of the sites in the 2017 Global Underscore, which is coordinated by Nancy Hughes (Buffalo, NY) and Brandin Steffensen (Seattle, WA) at www.globalunderscore.blogspot.com.

Previous experience with contact improvisation and attendance at the Underscore talk-through are required for participation in this Underscore practice.