the Underscore


Facilitator: Anne Cooper

Underscore Talk-through
Saturday, October 5th from 12noon-1:30pm
Cost: $5

Participants must attend (or have already attended) a 1 hr Talk-through to attend the Underscore practice & must already have a firm base in Contact Improvisation

Underscore ‘the practice’
Saturday, October 5th from 3-7pm
Cost: $20

The Underscore is a framework for practicing and researching dance improvisation and Contact Improvisation developed in the 90’s by Nancy Stark Smith (one of the founders of Contact Improvisation). The Underscore is a score that guides dancers through a series of  “ changing states “; from solo deepening/releasing and sensitizing to gravity and support; through group circulation and interaction, Contact Improvisation (CI) engagements, opening out to full group improvisation with compositional awareness, and back to rest and reflection.

(NSS, ‘Caught Falling’)

The Underscore is a structured improvisation, an underlying framework for the dancing; the ‘Talk-through’ gives us the ‘what we are going to engage in’ or ‘game-plan’ for a long session of dance improvisation and Contact Improvisation. The ‘Talk-through’ and the ‘practice’, the doing of it, comprise the Underscore.

The Underscore is generally not led by verbal cues; the idea is that people “know” it and come together to share the practice; a facilitator facilitates two ‘check-ins’ as part of the score. It is for those who already have a firm base in Contact Improvisation. (Please see class schedule/EDAM web site for drop-in Contact Improvisation classes, or for CI Jams without a ‘score’.) It is not a score in which to research text or vocal work; please look for workshops/events in the city for these. It is generally practiced without music, and without social conversation during the practice itself; snacking and exiting/reentering to the washrooms as needed are part of the score! 

The Underscore is a spacious experience shared by the participants that can spark surprising kinesthetic and compositional improvised dance and Contact Improvisation within a defined framework.

No registration needed.  

Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to read/sign waiver and make payment (cash or cheque only). Please note that parking can be difficult to find in the area. Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to slide on a partner or the floor but aren’t too slippery, & no or minimal jewelry. Kneepads are recommended.


Faciliator Anne Cooper has researched and danced in the Underscore with it’s creator, Nancy Stark Smith, since 2012, and has facilitated it in Vancouver and other locales.