Building safer spaces and consent — Rachel Dean

The T&P Spectrum for this workshop is: , , , ,

One of the aspects of Contact Improvisation that appeals to and fascinates me is its potential as a playground for learning, practicing and experimenting with the ways in which we communicate and build relationships as human beings. Having a different social context for physical contact, a place where to some extent touch can mean different things.
How can we learn to communicate and negotiate physically so that our dances are “positive active collaborations for the benefit, well-being and pleasure of all persons concerned” (Dossie Easton’s definition of consent.)

How is doing this affected in practice by the gender of the people, or race, by their proficiency in the verbal languages being used? How about if one is a teacher and one a student, if one has learning disabilities, if one is well known and experienced and one a newcomer?

Many of my explorations of these topics have taken place within the queer community. I feel that queer and Contact Improvisation perspectives have so much to teach each other and am excited about the opportunities to link my (sometimes) separate explorations of the two. At the Copenhagen Queer Festival last Summer I taught a Contact Improvisation workshop titled ‘Queer in Motion’.

I believe that learning to recognise and respect each other’s physical and emotional limits can be incredibly liberating and enabling of creativity and exploration, therefore I would like to contribute to creating a Safer Spaces Policy for the event, and procedures for maintaining the event as a safer, creative space for exploration. I would also like to offer a workshop exploring these topics through movement and discussion.

Read Rachel Dean’s biography