a personal perspective on proximity

The following is an except from the editorial of the final print edition of <proximity> magazine (Vol15-Ed1, Dec 2012):

For myself, <proximity> has always been exciting in its exchange of ideas and learning, in that it mirrors the exchange of tactile information and learning we gain when we dance Contact Improvisation (CI) with a partner. Discourse in writing is a key element in the multi-channelled feedback loops of my learning.

To try to explain:
As I dance with another body, I learn through my body. In reflective moments, those body learnings filter through to my mind and gain some coalescence. This then informs and feeds back into my body states and interest in my next dance.
I can articulate these coalesced reflections to a dance partner in conversation, and often in doing so, these learnings may crystalise a little further. A conversation will also allow me the opportunity to learn something from my partner’s mind; from their mind to my mind. And again, in my next dance I have the opportunity to explore these mind learnings further with my body.
<proximity> then extends this conversation out even further. As I attempt to write my ideas, I have to clarify them further – not just articulate, but structure and order them, and in doing so stretch them. This, again, feeds back into my dance. And as I learn from something someone else has written, I start to truly appreciate what proximity (not just the magazine) is about.

It is these layers of proximity that are really enjoyable. Dancing CI is an event of physical proximity, requiring a partner. Reading <proximity> is usually done solo, without physical proximity, yet the text draws you into mental proximity (maybe even emotional or spiritual proximity) with the author and the collective web of knowledge we share about our practices.

Finally, I enjoy how <proximity> has particularly drawn me into antipodean perspectives of this collective web of practice knowledge. It has made me feel proud of the depth and rigour of practice that occurs in our relatively-small improvisational outposts – maybe it is our physical distance, rather than proximity, from the rest of the world that allows us the time and space to explore is such a way.

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