MA Thesis – Entwining Solo Pathways Through a Duet Form

Entwining solo pathways through a duet form: A practice-based investigation of Contact Improvisation

Author: Rachel Dean


An investigation into the apparent contradiction between a dance form centred around interactions with others and often defined as a duet form, and the author’s increasingly positive experiences whilst perceiving it as a solo.

A subjective approach was taken to the research through an investigation of the author’s own practice of the form. Initial practical explorations were inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s throws. The subsequent structure of the research process was that of an emergent journey with each step suggesting the next.

It was found that practising Contact Improvisation can be considered from the perspective of individual, emergent trajectories. This facilitated an appreciation of the dance as continuing through engagements with other dancers. It also focused attention on individual experiences, which in turn facilitated the dance. This is because the means by which a dancer gathers information about another with whom they are in physical contact is by paying attention to their own physical sensation. This sensed information enables participants to develop a connected dance together.

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of MA Creative Practice, Trinity Laban, September 2013.

Full thesis available in Trinity Laban library or by contacting Rachel.