Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
School of Theatre and Dance
This document serves as a contextual and reflective essay detailing the work done on J Travis Cooper’s Honors Capstone Project, Touch as Bond: Exploring the use of Contact Improvisation in an ensemble process. It is a process focused creative project exploring the potential of Contact Improvisation [CI] as a tool for ensemble development and content creation in a theatrical production. Contact Improvisation is a dance practice created by Steve Paxton and other collaborators in the 1970s. The form demands dancers improvise movements while in contact with each other, creating spontaneous lifts and requiring the ability to adapt to a number of situations. Since then, it has evolved into a widespread practice used to increase somatic sensitivity and, at times, create a meditative state. A theatre maker’s body is an important part of the set of tools required to perform. The project integrates CI into the rehearsal process and staging of The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other with an ensemble of 15 performers. Director J Travis Cooper led the cast through weekly CI workshops and jams to produce a strong cast of independent and brave young artists. In doing so, they hope others will become agents for change in their own lives, and upon reflecting on the production, see how the use of CI in a production creates a group that can trust themselves and others while working towards a similar goal.
Cooper, J Travis, "Touch as bond: Exploring the use of Contact Improvisation in an ensemble process" (2020). Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current. 41.