For centuries scientists have been dissecting the human body and have completely disregarded what constitute the most evident and largest component in the body: the connective tissue. This all pervasive fascial web of tension and compression gives us shape, and both bind and separate structures from the smallest living unit in the body, the cells to the whole body.
The current research on the properties and physiology of fascia and myofascial chains (Anatomy Trains, Myers, T., 2018) already shifts not only the perception of the body but also the way we move. Indeed, rich in mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors, this body-wide web of fibrous connective tissue is considered by the medical anthropologist Jaap van der Wal as the organ of innerness and by Oschman as the organ of communication (2012).
Based on recent scientific and dance articles, literature on fascia such as Thomas Myers Anatomy Trains, Contact Improvisation, experiential anatomy, attendance to conferences on recent fascia discovery among anatomists and clinical experts, as well as my experience as a dancer, contact improviser, sports massage therapist and yoga teacher, I propose to apply and uncover this new view on biomechanics to dance, and to the ways in which we engage with the world around us.
The creator of Contact Improvisation Steve Paxton’s study and attention to the pervasiveness of gravity (2018) has led him to explore new ways of relating to shared weight with contact improvisation, I propose a similar attention to the all-pervasive influence of fascia to inform ways of relating and choreographing. I wish to attend to this implicit pervasive fascial awareness over the course of this research.
Contact Improvisation and experiential anatomy will be used as investigative frameworks as part of a Practice as Research approach.