Body and Space: 'Contact' Improvisation in India

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The story of contact is unique in its genre. This movement-based art form, offers an experience that may challenge the performer to redefine his physical space, his self-awareness, and simply experience a deep connection with him or herself and others. Brought to India in the past few years, it has experienced an invigorating support by the Indian dance community. The Goa Contact festival, which takes place every year, gives away thirty plus scholarships for Indian dance students and dancers to further their awareness about Contact.
Erica Kaufman is one of the leading figures of Contact since the eighties. As a dancer, contact artist and yogini, she has extensively researched the ins and outs of physical movement across continents. While Erica gives us a brief definition of all the possibilities that could be contact, we also follow Lional Lishoy, a young actor, contact artist, music composer and dancer from Kerala, living in Bangalore, who is here as one of the scholarship trustees of the festival. Lional has gained the support of many from the international Contact community to become an anchor for contact practitioners in Bangalore, where it has emerged as an "alternative" art form.
His commentary is about his journey through contact, and what he expects out of it.

Shotlist

  1. Very Wide shot: Goa countryside road with palm tree
  2. Wide shot: Entrance to Banyan Tree open space
  3. Moving Closeup shot of Erica Kaufman
  4. Moving closeup shot of Erica Kaufman's foot work
  5. Wide shot of Erica and student doing contact exercise
  6. 3 moving midshots of Professional instructors
  7. Medium closeup shot of Erica's interview
  8. Very wide shot of Bangalore sky and Transmitting tower with birds
  9. Closeup shot of Lional's profile in moving bus
  10. Closeup shot of Lional's interview on his first instructing class
  11. Moving closeup of Lional and friend walking on the beach
  12. Medium Closeup of Lional and man on beach
  13. Closeup of Lional and girl sitting at beach restaurant
  14. Mid shot of Lional instructing students
  15. Wide shot of Lional and Girl demonstrating exercise
  16. Wide shot of class doing the exercise
  17. Medium closeup of Contact Jam chalkboard with comments
  18. Mid shot of Class doing breathing exercise
  19. Medium closeup of Lional and girl contact partner
  20. Medium closeup shot of Erica's interview
  21. Mid shot of Lional and girl practicing contact
  22. Mid shot on ground of Lional and girl practicing contact
  23. Mid shot of Lional and girl practicing contact on the grond
  24. Mid shot of Lional and man practicing contact
  25. Closeup of Lional's feet
  26. Upward tilt, closeup shot of Lional and girl partner
  27. Medium closeup of two girls doing contact
  28. Medium closeup of girl resting head on floor
  29. Extreme close up of local Indian little girl
  30. Moving mid shot of Lional and friend walking and talking on beach
  31. Extreme closeup of bowl of flowers moving
  32. Extreme closeup of Liona's profile & Wide shot of group
  33. Moving midshot of Lional
  34. Medium closeup of Local woman and baby
  35. Extreme closeup of Local woman's face
  36. Wide shot of Goa beach and street performers
  37. Mid shot of Lional with hands behind head
  38. Cutaway shot of local Goa shot
  39. Wide shot of Indian students practicing contact
  40. Medium closeup shot of Lional's profile during exercise Mid shot of Lional motionless on his knees
  41. Wide pan shot of performer on stilts at sunset
  42. Mid shot of Lional extending and motioning his arms up
  43. Wide shot of couple walking into sunset
  44. Mid shot of couple walking into sunset
  45. Wide shot of Full moon and bird
  46. 5 mid shots of Lional and girl partner at a contact night performance
  47. closeup shot of Lional's profile in bus
  48. extreme closeup of Lional's profile facing out the window

Script

  1. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, contact and improvisation artist: [00:04]-[00:10] My name is Erica Kaufman and I am a contact improvisor.
  2. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, contact and improvisation artist: [00:10]-[00:14] Contact improvisation is a form in and of itself.
  3. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, Contact and improvisation artist: [00:15]-[00:24] It is a movement form, based on touch, commonly between two people, where the external aesthetic does not have to be the focus
  4. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, Contact and improvisation artist: [00:25]-[00:29] I see it is growing in India. I've been teaching it here for five years.
  5. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy, Contact and improvisation artist: [00:33]-[00:52] Uhh, not very excited to teach but, yeah but I'm just going to share what I know, at least about contact, because I think even I need to learn a lot more. But I'm just going to share whatever I know and if that can help some of my friends, yeah...why not?
  6. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy & Friend, Contact and improvisation artist: [00:53]-[00:52] Lional: "You came for the Jam yesterday?" Girl: "Yeah, but I didn't..." Lional: "you didn't jam?" Girl: "No, I did. I did one dance with Yanael."
  7. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, Contact and improvisation artist: [01:00]-[01:08] met Lional five years ago, and he's talented, he's intelligent and he's interested.
  8. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy, Contact and improvisation artist: [01:00]-[01:11] One line there, and one line here
  9. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, Contact and improvisation artist: [01:28]-[02:11] Generally speaking, across many cultures, bodies become a way of providing a presentation of who we are, rather than a vehicle of existence. And in that existence we have awareness. And through this form we have touch, and through the touch we have new information. New landscapes in which we can lean, be supported, allow ourselves to be supported, allow ourselves to support, to actually feel the weight of another, and there is a beautiful generosity in that kind of giving of presence. And none of that...none of that giving is possible if you are distracted inside of your mind.
  10. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, Contact and improvisation artist: [02:21]-[02:23] Lional has things to offer
  11. soundbite (English)
    Erica Kaufman, Contact and improvisation artist: [02:30]-[02:38] If you are good, people sit around you and they become interested in learning from you. But how do you learn? You learn by doing.
  12. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy & Friend, Contact and improvisation artist: [02:53]-[03:03] Lional: "I need more dancing" Friend: "Yeah" Lional: "ohhh...I'm experiencing...I don't know...the hidden. It's really soft and calm and beautiful."
  13. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy, Contact and improvisation artist: [03:04]-[03:22] I always go for improvisation jams. If I have somebody to dance with me, I just go do it and I try to get the response from the public, because people are not really used to touching much, on the streets. So when they see this, they're like, Woah! What's going on man?
  14. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy, Contact and improvisation artist: [03:31]-[03:57] It's just me, as an individual, I know I need...I need to cover up the other side too. To have a balance. I love the delicate calmness in contact, but I love the other side too, where's it's "wow!" Like energy. But it's taking me to a very delicate level of mind. And just...I need to dance, I need to do contact.
  15. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy, Contact and improvisation artist: [04:06]-[04:13] Then I would feel more, more than talking, talking yeah, helps me, I want something active. (Lional laughs, group laughs)
  16. soundbite (English)
    Lional Lishoy, Contact and improvisation artist: [04:29]-[04:41] This is how I live my life. Now, I want to extend it. Extend this emotion.