Currently I'm studying improvisation with Gerald Casel as part of my MFA studies at UWM and this week we're going through some of William Forsythe's improvisation technologies. In today's class we worked with a number of exercises that primarily had to do with space and specifically with lines of the body. In one exercise we imagined drawing lines in space - either from a specific body part into space or from an inanimate object (floor or wall, for example) into space. Once you 'draw' the line you can then imagine moving it, dancing around it and relating to it. Other exercises we did had to do with folding and unfolding the limbs, creating spirals into the floor and manipulating other kinds of imaginative object. As I was doing these exercises I noted that they felt like they were improvisational exercises devised by someone trained as a ballet dancer. I don't mean that in a good or bad way, just that it was interesting to feel the history of Forsythe's training in my dancing as I was exploring his 'technologies'. It makes me wonder how the improvisational exercises that I choose to explore and teach are influenced by my body history. Or, if dancers whom are predominately trained in other modalities (ie. not modern/post-modern) would approach creating improvisaitonal exercises. We, of course, have some examples in tap, hip hop and probably many, many forms that I am not aware of. Any examples anyone can supple would be very interesting.
Here's one of the exercises I found on YouTube: