Editor Note

Contact Quarterly 1978English
Contact Quarterly Vol. 4 No.1 (Fall, 1978): 2.

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Here is a letter that spans two pages - an Editor note and letter to CQ. I am reflecting on the CQ Spring/Summer Vol. Ill No. 3/4 Special Focus: Groups. On first look, I found it hard to read between the lines - they seemed too close together, a small space for deeper listening, yet on further reading many questions managed to squeeze up through the cracks. My original scan left me with a structural image of what Contact Groups were. I saw that their basic commonality was that they first came together while doing Contact Improvisation and since have taken various directions. The groups' reports showed that some groups teach classes, certain individuals within some groups teach classes, some keep an open door to all visiting dancers, some keep their door open to certain visiting dancers, some perform together, some choreograph, some don't, some keep books.


There was also evidence that Contact Improvisation, having arisen as a distillation of many older duet dances has become a form to be distilled from, synthesized with and integrated into other movement forms, therapies and performances.


A missing representation of early significance among the symphony of structures that Contact Improvisation has irked is that of the free lance dancer. In a structural context, this person is a performer who maintains a fluid association with a larger network of practitioners. They come together at their convenience and by their contrivance. They split the bill and the kill.


Now I need to ask why do they come together, what are their visions, how do they perform why do they perform what do they do, is it really all improvised, do they always begin in a stand, is a group stand true improvisation, what is improvisation, is it the same for everyone, and on into the Performance issue to be put to press in two months. Hoping it will answer some of the questions that escaped between the lines of the Groups issue, I wait for the next to arise. The Quarterly seems to have the potential for bringing our minds together for a group picture and keeping the ideas that flow through the dance, moving. And I think that is its intention. Input is essential and always held for further questionings.


For now, Lisa Nelson