The Joy of No
So often improvisation is fixated on the concept of acceptance, on the concept of yes. But how much joy is there to uncover in the dance of “no”? Opportunities constantly arise to enrich and expand the range of available response in an improvised moment by finding the layers of “no’s” and the inherent joy in mischievousness when we can feel lightness paired with redirection. “No” is also a centrally vital response in learning to care for oneself. The dance of “no” appears at first to be unfortunate, cruel, or perhaps difficult, but oh, how much wonder and joy bubbles just beneath the surface of our ability to assert our “no’s” when and how we need to, or simply when we choose.
Ezra LeBank is the Head of Movement and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at California State University, Long Beach. He is recognized as a specialist in Biomechanics, Contact Improvisation, Acrobatics & Clown. His dancing and teaching is inspired by work with Nancy Stark Smith, Mike Vargas, Rebecca Bryant & Pilobolus. His CI practice centers on discovering ease in the unknown, intentional disorientation, the physics of flight, floorward movement, and just a touch of clown. He teaches and performs across the world including recent festivals & workshops in France, Poland, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Thailand, Australia, and across the United States. His book Clowns: In Conversation with Modern Masters is available from Routledge (UK). www.bossyflyer.com