The GLOBAL UNDERSCORE (GUS) is a yearly event in which the Underscore is practiced simultaneously for a 4-hour period by people all over the world near the summer solstice (northern hemisphere). In addition, GUS’s expanded mission is: to support Underscore, Contact Improvisation, Contact Quarterly (CQ), and the legacy of Nancy Stark Smith on a global level. We dedicate GUS to Nancy Stark Smith (NSS), the creator of the Underscore, who passed on 1 May 2020.
Our 2021 events:
- Zoom GUS In-Depth Talk-Through: 12 June 2021, 14:00–16:00 UTC (10:00 am–12:00 pm EDT) Registration
- GLOBAL UNDERSCORE Practice: 19 June 2021, 14:00–18:00 UTC (10:00 am–2:00 pm EDT) GUS Site Registration
“Catch-All” Zoom — a Zoom for individuals and GUS sites around the world during the GUS Practice. Info & Registration
- Zoom GUS Meta-Sharing: 26 June 2021, 22:00–24:00 UTC (6:00–8:00 pm EDT) Registration
Please read all the parts of the About section of the website. You can find host and facilitate a GUS Site or you can find a GUS Site to dance at. You can connect through Zoom, to an individual site that is having a Zoom component or you can join the “Catch-All” Zoom Site (see below).
For facilitators wanting to facilitate a GUS Site, there are 3 main Options for Participation: Full Score Practice, Modified Score Jam, and a Satellite (a solo person who is only tuning in to a smaller portion of the 4-hour GUS practice). Additionly, your site could dancing non-synchronously (not during 14:00–18:00 UTC). The conditions of your site could be inside/outside, Zoom/no Zoom, open/closed to others. There will be some “sites” who only connect through Zoom. Given COVID, make sure you follow your local safety guidelines. More Details
The “Catch-All” Zoom will be available for individuals and GUS Sites around the world to join as a global Zoom site. This is a possibility if you do not have a regional Zoom near you or if your GUS Site wants to connect with others through video.
Facilitators will receive a packet of information to support you and the dancers of your site. Dancers will receive information from the facilitators.
David Koteen: If you were to fantasize—in your dream of dreams—the effect of CI on Western culture, what will you project?
Nancy Stark Smith:
Flexibility (improvisation) based on a direct sense of being on the physical earth, in your physical body;
communicating with respect, intelligence, curiosity, compassion, humor, and love across boundaries
(race, language, ideology, dance form, cultures, subcultures, generations).
Clarity, confidence, risk, respect.
And more: cooperation, imagination, vitality.
High art play, adventure in work, responsibility, and humor.
A sense of independence and interdependence.
from Caught Falling: The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas
by David Koteen and Nancy Stark Smith, 2008.
For Global Underscore 2021, we invite attunement to the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts in which we are situated and in which we practice the Underscore. We invite awareness of those experiencing oppression and inequity, acknowledging that oppression limits us all and prevents some from participating in the Global Underscore, Contact Improvisation, and dance in general.
In the United States, 19 June is Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery. On 19 June 1865, the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in Texas was finally enforced. It is a day to acknowledge the bloodshed and perseverance of generations of African-Americans, to support black-owned businesses, and to celebrate life and freedom. GUS 2021 Coordinators recognize this significant aspect of American history and support this day of honoring.
~ Patrick Crowley, Sarah Young, Colleen Bartley, GUS Coordinators
GUS is excited to announce that we will be selling the Contact Quarterly (CQ) dance kneepads, CI Sourcebooks (Vol. I, Vol. II, & Vol. III), and Mike Vargas’ 86 Aspects of Composition card deck. CQ has transitioned to an online newsletter/resource/archive/digital store website, and have closed their physical office. A portion of the proceeds will go to CQ. Check out our preliminary GUS Store (full store coming soon)!
The GLOBAL UNDERSCORE (GUS) in 2021 could not happen without all the enthusiasm of its dancers and site organizers. We are very thankful for the financial contributions from the sites and individuals that make GUS possible. Donors listed below.
Herman Van Cauwelaert
London Contact Improvisation (LCI)
Thank you, Thank you!