Dear Underscorers,

Welcome to the Global Underscore 2012! This year’s Global Underscore will take place on Saturday June 23, from 9:30 am-1:30 pm EDT (New York time zone). Underscore NYC is honored to be organizing this event again this year and happily writing to you now to begin our collaboration together. 

For the past 11 years, a Global Underscore has been occurring near the summer solstice. Conceived and organized by French dancer Claire Filmon for 10 years, the Global Underscore Solstice is an annual event during which dancers at many sites around the world practice the Underscore simultaneously.

We enthusiastically invite you to join us physically and energetically, in time and in space. With Nancy’s direction and your participation, we will surely create an amazing event together!

Nancy and Mike will be in London at a Somatics and Technology Conference in Chichester, UK, and will be hosting an Underscore there on June 23, from 2:30 – 6:30 pm (UK Time). Underscore NYC will be hosting their monthly Underscore practice at the same time in NYC from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm EDT.

Here is a list of times for this year’s practice in other possible locations (all times begin on the 23rd) :
9:30 am – 1:30 pm East Coast, USA including New York, Boston, DC
10:30 am – 2:30 pm Buenos Aires (Argentina)
2:30 pm – 6:30 pm London
3:30 pm – 7:30 pm Europe including Paris, Berlin
4:30 pm – 8:30 pm Israel/Palestine
5:30 pm – 9:30pm Moscow
10:30 pm – 2:30 am Japan
11:30 pm – 3:30 am Melbourne/Sydney (Australia)
6:30 am – 10:30 am West Coast, USA
7:30 am – 11:30 am Boulder, CO
8:30 am – 12:30 pm Chicago, IL.
(Check out www.timeanddate.com for more information if your time zone is not listed)


The Global Underscore is organized for people who know Contact Improvisation and the Underscore. However, in an effort to include others who are not as familiar with the Underscore, or cannot organize people to join them, there are three possible levels of participation one can choose in joining this practice.

Please read the descriptions below to determine which of the three forms of participation best suits your community:

A. Full Score Practice
You are a community of dancers in which every dancer present is a part of a serious exploration of the ideas/perceptions/principles operating in Nancy’s Underscore and Contact Improvisation. This probably means that several of you have studied and/or practiced the Underscore with Nancy directly or with someone else who has. Since the event, for you, is about practicing the Underscore, even 1 or 2 dancers who are not familiar with this score will change the experience of the practice. Please feel free to set limits based on experience, to offer talk-throughs (see below), and to contact us with any questions.

B. Modified Score Jam
You are a community of dancers who have various levels of experience with Contact Improvisation and the Underscore. You may have one person who has studied with Nancy or has done an Underscore, but in general your experience as a group is in jamming and exploring CI and improvisation. You might feel more resonance with a more open participation. For example, you might open and close with the Small Dance in connection with the other Underscore sites; and in the dancing section, you warm-up individually, circulate a bit, find a first partner for a contact improvisation dance, and then move into an Open Jam format. You might even end together at the global “Final Resolution” time, take some time for personal reflection, rest, or warm-down, and then have a circle of sharing at the end. This closing circle might not necessarily be a Harvest in terms of the perceptions of Nancy’s score, but would be a rich way of sharing your experience.

C. Satellite
You want to participate but are unable to for any reason: you are alone, you have an obligation, etc. You might join us for the opening and/or closing Small Dance (both would be great!) to sort of “click-in” to sense the dancing, and to give your support. You know enough about the small dance to be able to explore it deeply for that brief shared time.

In keeping with the oral tradition of the Underscore, we encourage facilitators to offer “talk-throughs” before the Global Underscore to introduce newcomers (and refresh familiars) with the language, glyphs, and structures of the Underscore.  We ask that all participants of the Global Underscore 2012 be familiar with the practice ahead of time.


Wherever you are, whatever time is your start time, below find the time schedule for our simultaneous practice.

00:00 start time
00:45 preambulation
00:50 opening 5 min global small dance, facing east according to the map
03:55 closing global small dance, facing west according to the map
04:00 closing
(Note: you can start preambulating or small dancing earlier than specified, as long as you’re doing it at the appointed time.)


All sites will be mapped and linked before June 23rd so that everyone knows which direction to face during the small dances, and so that participants can see our collective web of participants. We will need to hear from people by June 15 for their site to be included in the linked map.

Keep up to date on the details of our organizing by reading the blog we created last year:

Technology Note: In honor of the Global Underscore occurring in the context of the Somatics and Technology conference in Chichester, UK, this year there will be a special opportunity to link to each other technologically. Nancy will be speaking with the tech director in Chichester soon for their suggestions and we’ll post it on the blog. If you have ideas and capabilities for other technological linkage between sites, please contact us as soon as possible with as much detail as you can. We will do our best to help everyone connect who wants to. A new experience!


If you would like to facilitate a Global Underscore practice in your city, please click on


and fill out the googledoc to register your location.

We can’t wait to dance with you.
Underscore NYC: Jesse Johnson, Brandin Steffensen, Rebecca Bone and Mark Messer with Nancy Stark Smith
Global Underscore 2012 coordinating committee