How to Cite

Baker, M. and Gillespie, F., 2004. 'field'. Body, Space & Technology, 4(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/bst.209


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'Nature is not a gentle force' - Alan Sonfist
presented by
Coriolis Dance Company
DJ SG1 aka GRAYHAM FORSUTT - Soundscapes
PATRICK SCHROEDER – Live Camera feed
(PAULA CUNNIFFE - Camera assist )


1. Statement of Intent

2. 'Other Ways to Fall'

3. 'Absolute'

4. 'Other, Private Winds'

5. 'The Fear'

6. Cellular Improvisation

7. Artists' Profiles

8. Coriolis Dance Company

9. Bibliography and References

10. Coriolis Dance Company Performance History

1. Statement of Intent - 'Physical States rather than Steps'[1]

'field' is a multi-media installation realised through Contact Improvisation dance, Authentic Movement, sound and poetry.

As an event, 'field' was performed in July/August 2003. As a group of artists assembling apparently disparate intelligences in the installation space, we nevertheless planned to risk the possibility of harmony - still, dissonance was also good. We sought to forge complementary alliances - although solo excursions were welcomed. We aspired to listen attentively to one another – and gave ourselves permission to ignore each other with equal care. This was the essence of the improvisation we tried not to plan … which was unashamedly altered in real time, by the needs of each moment.

This non-structure informed our joint and separate responses in the media of our choices - wherever we were led by our predilections. Dance was one medium. We intended to omplement the physical installation by inhabiting the space, allowing a 'state' of motion to emerge.

We wanted to engage the audience with dynamics which are unique to a live experiential event: Real urgency. Commitment to the moment. The wrong trousers. Risk. Fear. Wonder. For both of us dancing, 'field' as a physical space, with its attendant and related themes, centred on our personal experiences of the contradictory elements of 'home' and diasporic displacement.

Throughout the week the ongoing investigation of these issues was pivotal to the manifestation of 'field'. This enquiry was realised through explorative approaches based upon an amalgamation of soloing, dueting, stillness, observation, drawing, silence, writing and reflecting. Through this approach we hoped to facilitate the emergence not of formulaic steps, but a state of sentient presence-in-the-moment. Thus equipped, our aim was to navigate our way through terrain which lay outside our existing set rhythms and patterning.

“Improvised performance doesn't unfold over time. It unfolds, but while it does it also feeds back on itself and therefore is like a three-dimensional image rather than like a sentence, which you understand the more you listen to over time.”

Philipp Gehmacher – choreographer [2]

During this process of discovery we suspended time and space, (relatively speaking) focussing on subjective experience and physical interaction - on a dynamic involvement with and in the moment of experience. To the viewer, the movement we articulated may not have obviously or easily described or explained what we were 'doing'. While physical mumbling was not necessarily desirable (although a distinct possibility), ambiguity ensured that there was room left for interpretation, flights-of-fancy and questioning.

For you, as the audience, we did not anticipate or necessarily wish that you saw what we saw, feel what we felt or understand all of our movements, but rather, appreciated the ongoing performance process for what it said about other, yet strangely familiar land and soundscapes and peopled intimate distances …

Ref : 1 & 2 'Not whole, but holes' by Martin Margreaves. Inteveiw with Philipp Gehmacher, Dance Theatre Journal Vol 18, No 1 2002. Fiona Gillespie and Michael Baker 22.7.03

2. 'field' … other postures, hidden places … other ways to fall

Not only being upright …

'When we started this project … we wanted to include every astonishing thing we had seen throughout the years spent watching these inhabitants of the grasses, all the times we had abandoned our dignified postures as bipeds to return to the habits of our childhood, dropping down on all fours to explore a corner of a meadow. The first thing we learned was immobility. Our outsized bodies gradually became concentrated into the tiny area of our eyes. We were nothing more than what lay before us. For as far as the eye could see, there was nothing but wild grasses, a dull blue-green light, a maze of supple and long strips of leaves … golden clouds of pollen and flights of feathered seeds …'[1]

field … other languages, other scores

Sometimes in our human processes of thought and movement we may chance upon or even go searching actively for an encounter with a strange land, recognising and acknowledging signs of intimacy with hidden places and their inhabitants, on the edges of the spaces we like to call -

'our world'


The sensation of such contact can be memorable and may have a profound and lasting effect upon the child or individual who cherishes such peripheral endeavours – cultivating not necessarily the desire for study but simply perhaps, a state of immersion in a liminal space on the borders of sight, sound and feeling. This is a place of 'open score', well known and inhabited frequently by artists, a place entered by some in a spirit of genuine enquiry but with judgement suspended – coloured simply by the desire to explore through improvisation and to explore improvisation itself – to dance in a space of reassuring uncertainty, revelling in an 'other' language. We find out how to be more by reducing ourselves – we seek to deconstruct our description of the world and our patterns of doing, to progress from merely an upright posture to one which fosters a view of more elastic horizons; to lean, to connect, to invert and roll, to slide, to lie, to be still, to fly and to fall, to arrive – in short, to witness ourselves eventually in a new land, tucked in with the locals


The external trappings of our day usually draw us back and away, child or not, although once visited, this other place and its inhabitants, temporary companions, are no longer lost in an inaccessible land with a foreign language – we have traversed a little way, enough to see – there they wait. If we allow them - allow ourselves enough time to arrive, these spaces and their contents may fill our lives with questions. A key to the universe resides within each glimpse.

These spaces and their tenants occupy worlds parallel to our own and filled with equal import. We can occasionally reach them through fragile passageways. The world of countless small entities is one of the most remote of these non-human worlds. It lies somewhere at the edge of our perception. We can choose to enter these worlds but must be prepared to set aside our most firmly defended postures and beliefs


feald 'Proper posture is a way of blending with gravity …'[2]

Through discovery of these entities, different eyes and time spent in-situ, we can begin to sense physical forces which lie beyond our understanding. On a human scale, gravity is the ruling force – (def: Gravity; 'Attractive force by which bodies tend to centre of earth …')[3]

It is gravity which aligns our bodies with the earth`s centre, dictates the volume of our muscles, guides our movements and endeavours to truncate our aspirations toward a longing for flight …

we tend to reach for the space – and fall


When an insect-mass falls from a sky height, it lands as if on the softest of down beds. Even when flight is relinquished, falling occurs with consummate grace and only a passing nod to gravity. Size does matter … Oh, to be like this! To be indigenous to a world where flight is a right - not a fleeting, ephemeral rite-of-passage within a dream! Run to the edge of the horizon and cast yourself off, into the void. You could do it! 'In a sky full of people only some want to fly … isn`t that crazy?'[4]

Sometimes you can enter a far-off place, carried by its aroma borne up on an errant breeze … the only way to travel

Dragonfly – def; Order, Odonata. Neuropterous insect with long slender body and large wings usually spread when resting' '… having four membranous wings with reticulate neuration …' Chimaera – def; 'Monster with lions head, goats body and serpents tail …' [5] 'Compared to those of other insects, the techniques used by dragonflies to overcome the tyranny of gravity seem outdated. The first questionable point in their flight technique is that their wings do not beat in unison, which is a rather offhanded approach to the laws of aerodynamics …(one set of wings moves up while the other moves down – phi centred).”[6]

350 million years ago, there lived a Dragonfly called Meganuera, nearly 75 centimetres across – seagull size. Today, dragonflies are much smaller, yet almost identical – a success story yet a paradox; the imago, a beautiful glittering airborne jewel, attaining speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour, with the freedom to fly in any direction or to simply occupy a stillness in space – has a dark side … the nymph, aglide in a very different medium, insouciant in a world of slowly waving weeds, waits with a secret – brown in the brown ooze for now, feasting on unwary polliwogs.

As children, we could never capture an adult in our fields, in flight or at rest – after a while, we gave up wanting to. Surely, to catch only fleeting glimpses should be enough? Our glass jars always remained empty; a small, clear space reserved for a wish a little more earthbound, a little less glittering. We could perhaps momentarily leave the ground behind - Once this was accomplished, we would have to find other ways to fall …


1. 1 Microcosmos, Claude Nuridsany & Mrie Perennou

2. Dan Millman, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior,

3. The Concise Oxford dictionary,

4. Seal

5. The Concise Oxford dictionary,

6. Microcosmos, Claude Nuridsany & Marie Perennou Michael Baker , Fiona Gillespie, Nelson, NZ 15.7.03

4. Absolute …

When I was a child (about 3) I remember roaming fields* with my brothers and our neighbours. I have strong associations with those times as being a part of a strong and unified 'family' group: intense and absolute belonging - with no query.

*Fields of long grass fenced in by immense oak trees which seemed to me as large as Gods. I remember horses whispering warm breath on my small cold hands, climbing lichen & moss covered fences and gates to cross seemingly endless vistas of grass.”

In a new home years later these childhood meanderings developed into solitary excursions. Rather than 'safe explorations' buoyed by my extended family, they became a search for 'haven', escapism from the mundane repetition of everyday routines and a recapturing of the state of being previously taken for 'absolute' - sense of belonging. Now our whanau has dispersed & fractured, each alone.

Seeking hope and a place to belong (even Turangawaewae) I ran through the long grasses and delved into observing the neighbouring fields and the lives played out in them. Thousands of hours I spent lying perfectly still on my back (trying not to scratch at the itchiness of the grass) watching the clouds skid across the sky, drinking in the 'bigness' and seeking answers to the question I had: were others feeling this same sense of aloneness?

… Diaspora.

Can you see that I am alive?

Beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty above me, beauty below me, beauty within me, beauty all around me – can you see that I am alive…

… this is where I find the dance.

A quick trip across the back fence into the limitless horizons,

no expectation or routine, freed from responsibility. An entire field

to hold my aloneness so my wholeness could fill the sky,

with no thing to impede it…

Fiona Gillespie, Nelson, NZ - Aotearoa. 6 July 2003.


Our planet composed as it is of carbons and fertilised by oxygen, is floating in the carrier ocean of hydrogen gas that fills all space.

“All natural movement arises out of a state of imbalance, of non-equilibrium. Non-equilibrium is a pre-requisite for movement and evolution in all its forms, and a state of equilibrium is therefore impossible in Nature.”

Ilya Prigogine

1917 - 2013


'Other, Private Winds'[1]

When I was a boy younger than I am now, 'home' was with my family

Now I am a man older than I was then, home is with my family in Devon, England. Sunnyridge was a rather beautiful, happyrambling

in a rather beautiful Devonian-cobbed, Chinese-eved sunny house

house and garden on Dunsford Hill, on the edge of Exeter

on the edge of Nelson in the midland of New Zealand

with lawns, a lustrous copper beech and over the hedge, the 'field'

on a steep grass-clad hillside, the field on the doorstep

Lift my eyes and I could just make out the outlying smudges of Dartmoor

Look up and I see the hills shoulders jostled by the south-westerly wind

High, tawny brackened boundaries under a tumultuous sky

elastic, grassy incline moving up into the layer above the world, on the move

Come back closer and the seas of grass at my feet became my world

This field, a world away from my boyish blinking romance 'field' was apparently endless - a rich, mythic culture curving with nature then, still stirs me - causes me to run with my son away and down to the little village of Ide, in the valley far below hoping, determined to allow our home in his life to have a simple voice

'field' would always accommodate farmer Wykes and his sons

farmers and their sons I do not see here - still wind though, In the afternoon sun they would toil and then sit and eat bread and drink tea from restlessly seeking mischievous, beguiling paths through my new hillfield flasks or sometimes from cracked cups and an old teapot, up against our shared hedge or in strange fields on drives`south, making me want to leap from the road and with soft speech, terriers in tow, walk home over the rim under late red skies… and run …

sometimes I do …

In 'field', all the summers were long and hot and dry

As I gaze out, the sou`wester advances across this field (so it seems to me now)

and the bay beyond in ordered cadence, perpetrator

the winters`stubble-crisp still of a coursing horripilation - vistas of panic, spring and autumn were filled with wind … despite the desire to continue to enter in … wind on the hill, wind in the grasses, at the least minutely This wind on this hill still works, still beckons atremble, at most, abandoned in swarming groundswell rhythms, exhaling, arms akimbo, criss-crossing gusts compelling me to run, throw myself through inviting me to remember my bare-legged running, my swollen, streaming eyes this air which was alive, until a great longing would pluck at me … This 'other' place of fugitive yearning remains


unspeakable, almost synaesthesic - part-sense, part-sight, part-taste, elusive, shapeless despite its enormity, its potency, (the shape of things to come …) cellular recollections of my Amah`s arms its power to hold me enthralled and sometimes wretched somewhere else, as big, as motion-filled as the curving rim of my field somewhere else – home in a romany way, perhaps … moving, moving under a sea of wind We live at the bottom of an ocean of air … Awash in a medium unseen oblivious rummaging through layers of life indifferent until a stray zephyr touches, abruptly immersing our perception in ten thousand miles of solid air one hundred miles high …

'Other, private winds …[2]

There is a whirlwind in southern Morocco, the aajej, against which the fellahin defend themselves with knives… The harmattan blows across the Sahara filled with red dust, dust as fire, as flour… Mariners called this wind the 'sea of darkness' Red sand fogs were deposited as far north as Cornwall and Devon, producing showers of mud so great this was also mistaken for blood…

There were some tribes who held up their open palm against the beginning of wind…' [3] I remember walking as a child shaman into the middle of a green stillness and with a keen sense of anticipation, wetting my forefinger and holding it up Sometimes I thought I could make the air move, cool around my finger. Sometimes nothing at all would happen …

Every spring the grass would grow long and the wind would come As I lie here now held in a long sea of wind … (So it seems to me now) every autumn the grass would be gone, 'field`s edge from home to home I have found a place alitter with strange offerings; rusting farm implements, old coats turned inside out in which to engage with these wrenching moments In its place, among the browning remnants these body-mind senses, somatic dance would lie baled and stacked high over our hedge, with greening bales, wrapped memoirs recollections of abandoned flight through waist-high seas, of a stranger in a land stranger than before of adventures pursued (between 'elevenses' and lunch) adventuring in a field far away with wonder and not a little fear – against all odds, still full of wonder and a little fear bound tight against the onrush of winter … bound tight against the onrush of years …

Michael Baker, Nelson, NZ. 27.6.03 Ref:1, 2 and 3 The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje

8. 'The fear'

Come closer, breathe - but don`t breathe in … Lift your gaze into the swaying distance, but don`t rub your eyes … Run, run to the middle, but don`t scratch your legs … 'Hay fever is an allergy, a particularly violent type of immune reaction that is mistakenly directed against a harmless item such as pollen, dust, or food. Allergic reactions affect only certain people and they are different from other immune reactions in many ways, but in one respect they are the same – they depend on the body specifically recognizing particular antigens. In this case, however, the antigens are often referred to as allergens, to emphasize the fact that they help to cause allergies. Hay fever is, in effect, an attack on pollen by the body`s defensive system, or immune system, whose proper role is to protect the body from infection. To the immune system, a small particle that lands in the nose and immediately discharges proteins from its surface could very well be a living invader, such as a bacterium, intent on penetrating the body. The pollen`s behaviour is actually quite harmless, but it could seem suspicious like that of a parasitic intruder and so trigger a violent immune relation … pollen was disregarded by the immune system of most human beings before 1800 and hay fever has become common only during the 20th century. For a plant that needed to dispense with insect pollinators, there was only onerealistic possibility – the wind … Many flowering plants gradually evolved in this direction, noteably the grasses, which are all wind-pollinated. In time they lost the showy, colourful petals that had been used to attract insects. They also stopped producing nectar to feed the insects and sweet scents to beguile them. Several cereal crops are among the self-pollinators, including wheat, barley, oats and rice. Since these are all grasses (like all cereal crops) those who are allergic to grass pollen might expect to react badly to fields of these crops. They can relax however, in the knowledge that self-pollinators release very little pollen unless there is substantial disturbance to the plants, which can break open the flowers …'[1] Even without wind … small, running legs do 'substantially disturb' grasses enough to turn the air into a suddenly -solid wall of pollen …

… airsaturatedwithfearisnotairatall …

1 Hayfever: the complete guide - Jonathon Brostoff and Linda Gamlin, Healing Art Press 2002

Michael Baker 24. 7.03

9. 'Cellular Improvisation' - solo and as a collaborative interaction

Cellular improvisation - pursuit of movement (substitute 'painting', or 'poetry' or 'sound') scores based on the 'small dance' ie: somatic responses to a given situation, manifested through movement, therefore dancing from internal imperatives, thoughts, memories, the desire to explore without a plan, to be led by the organism on a cellular level, Body-Mind Centering*, amoeboid deliberations, glandular pulses, the breath, the lymph system, the chi system, joint extension, fractals of breathing from the skin into the skin of the land - the connective tissues and tenacious energy versus muscular striving. Movement arising from within a deep state of awareness and embodiment of the self – a listening state. Engaging trance. Cellular improvisation can also inform and become visible through the inter-relationships and collaborations of individuals within a synchronous group intent, movement, mentality, empathy, vision. (Each person a 'cell' which may temporarily blend with another. Equally, however, the individual 'cells' may not arrive together, they may be deflected by another intent, internal or external to them) It can influence individual enquiry or group exploration from an individual perspective, which brings solo qualities and idiosyncracies to the collaborative process. However, we do not seek to illustrate, explain or hijack another artists statement with our own response. Instead, there may be identifiable overlaps, empathies or echoes with a mutual strengthening of the direction chosen by the parties involved. To demystify this, in the dance we listen to and become aware of our own and our partner`s shifting intent, weight, velocity and momentum, which creates an ever-changing dialogue between us. However, we do not intrude into our partner`s personal space by trying to emulate or plagiarise them. Each has their own voice. Sometimes we harmonize or we might just miss … Cellular improvisation is a way to lead the body into new movement ... Sometimes it is dissonance or anomaly which is sought after. Either is good, depending on the context. It is all worthwhile within the celebration of conundrum. It is possible to operate in a similar fashion when working in or with other media. Coda specific to certain conceptual approaches and within media-use sometimes bring varying demands to bear on the artist working alone as much as do people impacting upon people functioning within a group. Listening for 'weight', 'velocity', or 'momentum' and thus achieving awareness can be translated into the appropriate language of any artist mindful of a vocabulary which underpins their intent and their working visual syntax. Learning to listen, think, speak, write, draw, see, move from the tissues. For the dance, from the horizontal to the vertical all over again - how little effort is required to accomplish this movement with only desire and intent as a muscle? 'Take a whole day to roll over …' Ref: Body, Space, Image


* 'Speaking the unspoken. The principles of Body-Mind Centering were not developed verbally nor are they easily transmitted into words. The name Body-Mind Centering illustrates this dilemma. In order to speak of a totality of being which does not dichotomize body and mind, one ends up using two words which 'do'. Not only that, the word centering usually implies a single arrangement of periphery around a center. However, instead of emphasizing a single, stationary center, BMC cultivates a dynamic flow of balance around a constantly shifting focus. So reading around the words is essential in approaching this work. 'BMC is a study. Its subject is movement. By watching the movement of the body, we can see the movement of the mind. The 'mind' of a physical form is the moving quality of that form, its inherent intelligence down to a cellular level. 'For me the most precious aspect of BMC is the uncompromising belief that consciousness pervades all of the body. This leads one to a very intimate, almost microscopic, experience of the body.' 'The Mind watching itself…' Ref: Sensing, Feeling and Action – from the forewordby Susan Aposhyan Coriolis Dance Company Artistic Directors: Michael Baker and Fiona Gillespie 18.7.03

11. Artist's profiles

Michael Baker's background lies in martial arts training since the age of seven, mostly orientated around the 'soft' arts of Japan and China - Judo, Aikido, Budo and for the last twenty-seven years, T`ai Chi Ch`uan which (like all martial arts forms) in its advanced practice recognises improvisation and 'form no form' as the highest level of accomplishment. Those teachers who have directly informed his movement learning, (apart from senseis` and sifus`), include Stephanie Challis, (London Contemporary Dance), Catherine Chappell, Nancy Stark-Smith, Martin Keogh and Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa of BodyCartography Project. His background is also in the visual arts. He has tutored full-time and exhibited in this area for many years and currently teaches among other disciplines, installation / performance on the Bachelor in Visual Arts programme at NMIT in Nelson. As well as weekly CI Dance classes, he has been teaching T`ai Chi Ch`uan classes for 18 years and sees these two approaches to movement, on certain levels, inextricably linked. Fiona Gillespie cannot remember a time when she did not dance. Although her 'formal' training ended in her teenage years with injured knees she remained in Performing Arts field discovering Street Theatre, Improvised Theatre and Improvised Music. Travelling the country with a 'low rent' Roving Theatre Company, she developed work using recycled and found objects as the inspiration for the company's performances. In 2000 Fiona redefined her dance through improvised music and then discovered Contact Improvisation Dance classes taught by Michael Baker in Nelson. Since then she has danced with Nancy Stark-Smith, Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa (BodyCartography Project) and Wilhemeena Gordon (aka Ivy Granite). Her theatrical training was with Kim Merry of Still life Productions. Ian McDonald Trained as a composer at Victoria Univercity, Wellington, under Douglas Liburn, David Farquar and Jenny mcLeod. His many works for orchestra, theatre, dance, radio, film and television have been performed, recorded and broadcast in New Zealand and overseas. He has lectured and run workshops in composition and creativity throughout New Zealand, and receivedawards, residencies and fellowships. Given several lives, Ian would spend each one on a different art activity – literature, painting, dance, drama, film, and so on. He can only present a small reflection of what he would do of he were immortal. A publication of Ian McDonalds 'Words' for 'field' is avaliable for purchase, enquiries to Coriolis Dance Company – nomads.hat@snap.net.nz or (03) 5450175 DJ SG1 aka Grayham Forscutt – Soundscape Artist Grayham has worked with improvisational music/soundscapes for the past twenty-five years. The exacting nature of Fibonacci`s 'phi-based' fractals, together with related scientific and artistic disciplines have informed his enquiry and delivery as a 'musician'. “My interests revolve around nature, the laws that govern her and their interface with people. Over the years this has lead me into many areas of research including; harmonics, geometry, brain states, chemistry, cosmology, astronomical cycles, soul development and magic. At a most practical level the work I have been involved in seeks to explore the interface between sound and enviroment, just as an interior decorator creates spaces to enhance certain moods, I am interested in creating opportunities for people to explore altered states through audio and visual enhancement. It is very exciting for me to be involved in this current project, which I hope will include real time feedback from those attending the Installation.“ contact Grayham at: blueagle@ihug.net.nz or on (03) 525 7906 Patrick Schroeder. Patrick is currently in his final year of the Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and has worked with Coriolis Dance Company on several installation performances as 'camera live-feed' artist.

12. Coriolis Dance Company

In 2001 Michael Baker created the Contact Improvisation (CI) dance company called 'LET' CI Dance Co, based in Nelson. 'LET' had a very positive debut year with a variety of dancers joining the company and a busy two years` performing. At the end of 2002 a number of dancers had moved away from Nelson and he and his partner Fiona Gillespie decided that after two seasons, with a clear direction identified for the company they would change the name to 'Coriolis' Dance Company and concentrate on their involvement with 'authentic movement' approaches within dance, which had been steadily increasing together with their curiosity about the possible relationship of these forms to CI Dance.

Our philosophy is based on the premise that 'dance' should be within reach and accessible to all and we choose to provide Comtact Improvisation Dance and 'Authentic Movement' as exemplars of movement forms which, together with their underlying pedagogies and contextual histories, perhaps best lend themselves to exploration for dancers who may not have had mainstream dance training.

This belief underpins the following aims.

Coriolis Dance Company Aims:

To increase the profile and acceptance of Contact Improvisation Dance and 'Authentic Movement' modes as legitimate dance forms in the local Nelson and national arts communities. (We also seek to achieve this through the regular running of the Nelson Lakes Mountain Jam CI dance retreat, in Nelson each January. After three years we took a break in January 2004, to work on our next project. We will be resuming the NLMJ dance retreat in January 2005)

To provide a vehicle for the development and realisation of our own concepts through enquiry into and involvement with new dance movement, digital film, physical installationin site-specific spaces.

To bring CI Dance and related movement approaches to the local community through the delivery of regular, weekly classes. These have been running in Nelson for four years.

Coriolis Dance Company:

Artistic Directors:

Michael Baker and Fiona Gillespie
76 Tresillian Avenue
Aotearoa / New Zealand
(03) 5450175 or 021 049 0722

13. Bibliography and References:


Microcosmos, Claude Nuridsany & Marie Perennou

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman

The Concise Oxford Dictionary New Edition, Oxford Clarendon Press

The English Patient Michael Ondaatjie, Picador

Body, Space, Image Miranda Tuffnell, Chris Crickmay,

The Second jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling, Macmillan & Co, Ltd, London

Living Energies Callum Coats, Gateway Books, Bath, UK

Making an Entrance, Theory and Practice for Disabled and Non-disabled Dancers

Adam Benjamin, Routledge

Transplant, Living Vegetation in Contemporary Art

Barbara Nemitz, Hatje Cantz Publishers

Sensing, Feeling and Action Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Contact Editions,

Northampton, MA

The Landscapes of Andrew Wyeth – Unknown Terrain, Venn Weinberg

Ann Hamilton Joan Simon, Abrams 2002

Art Performs Life Cunningham/Monk/Jones, Walker Art Center

Merce Cunningham 50 years, Aperture, David Vaughn, Phillip Morris Companies Inc

Contact Improvisation Dance Kaltenbrunner, Meyer & Meyer, Germany

The Songlines Bruce Chatwin, Vintage 1998


Contact Quarterly Nancy Stark-Smith, Bi-annual journal of dance and Improvisation

Parachute Autofictions

Dance Theatre Journal - the voice of dance EHV Printers London

Proximity Melbourne, Australia

Phtotcopied References:

Movement and Meaning in Contact Improvisation

Sharing the Dance, Contact Improvisation and American Culture

Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin

Working (In) the In-between David Williams, Writings in Dance

Contact Quarterly Nancy Stark-Smith, Bi-annual journal of dance and Improvisation

14 Coriolis Dance Company Performance History
29 July – 3 August 2003
The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatû
'field' – 'Nature is not a gentle force' Alan Sonfist
Multi-Media Dance Installation/Performance

18 June 2003
Careers Expo
Trafalgar Centre, Nelson
Performance as moving models for a figure-drawing class

17 – 30 March
Wharepapa Tour, Nelson – Golden Bay Tour Workshops, Performances and Screenings

18 - 27 January 2003
'Wharepapa' with The Body Cartography Project,
Wharepapa/Mt Arthur
Filmed on location in the Kahurangi National Park, Nelson, NZ
Directed by Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa of:
The BodyCartography Project, USA/NZ
(screened in the New Zealand Film Festival 2003)

9 - 16 January 2003
Nelson Lakes Mountain Jam 2003
Rotoiti Lodge, Nelson Lakes National Park
Annual Dance Retreat run by Coriolis Dance Company with International Teachers: Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa of 'Body Cartography' USA/NZ; Catherine Chapell of 'Touch Compass Dance Trust', NZ; Zjamal Xanitha, Australia; Wilhemeena Gordon (aka Ivy Granite), NZ/USA

13 September 2002
'Carnivale' Trafalgar Street Nelson
30 Minute 'Roving'set with Julian Yates

5 – 16 August 2002
Fishbowl Gallery, NMIT Nelson 'Momento'… 13 days of Memory Fall … Multi-Media Dance Installation/Performance a collaboration with Wilhemeena Gordon (aka Ivy Granite), NZ/USA

14 August 2002
Performance by Invitation The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatû Interaction within the combined exhibition by:
Jim Allen (Untitled …) and Kathleen Peacock (Suspended Sentences …)

14 - 15 June 2002
Celebrating Performance Art Week
The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatû
Two Performances: 'Sublind' , and '… Starless and Bible black …'

May 1 - 8 2002
Artists Books' Fish Bowl Gallery NMIT, Nelson
An exhibition of works from ten artists Michael Bakers' 'Book' - 'Corner' featured an edited version of the digital film 'Into the Light' by Coriolis Dance Company

15 - 28 April 2002
International Dance Day, Dance Expo 2002, Trafalgar Center, Nelson 'Blue' Contact Improvisation dance performance duet

17 April 2002
Nelson City Church, Front Window, Hardy Street, Nelson
Installation / Dance Performance: 'Window Dressers Dream Too' with Levity Beet and Julian Yates

3 April 2002
Mike Baker and Fiona Gillespie formed Coriolis Dance Company, (replacing the previous group Let Contact Improvisation Dance Co) taking on the co-responsibility of Artistic Directors.

15 March 2002
Nelson City Church Front Window Installation / Dance Performance: 'Into the Light' with Andy Clover, Angela McAlpine, Paula Cunniffe and Amy Hoedemakers (Fundraising in conjunction with five mural painters, for World Vision and Mongolian children living beneath the city streets)

1, 2 & 3 March 2002
Festival of Opportunities Founders Park, Nelson
3 Performances with Julian Yates, Levity Beet and K-Nui

9 – 13 February 2002
Wellington, NZ
BodyCartography workshop, 5 Day intensive Body-Mind Centering Workshop

11 -18 January 2002
Nelson Lakes Mountain Jam 2002, Rotoiti Lodge,Nelson Lakes National Park
Annual Dance Retreat run by Coriolis Dance Company with International Teachers: Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa of 'Body Cartography' USA/NZ; Wilhemeena Gordon (aka Ivy Granite), NZ/USA: Juliet Shelley, NZ and Lisa Mills, NZ

New Year 2001/2002
'Visionz' 2001/2002, Pakawae, Golden Bay
Live Stage Performance with Julian Yates

1 December 2001
Montgomery Carpark Nelson
Multi-Media 'Surrealist' Performance event Yaza Café 'Wave of Dreams 2' a collaboration with John Heighes Performances By: DJ`s: Bertrand Rathbourne, Pearl and SG1, Live sound Artist: Mr Boinkin, Performances 'Consciousness', 'Kipper' and 'Christina' by: Let Dance Co with Ian McDonald, Julian Yates and Emily Rose-Woof ; Performances also by: Delaray, VJ`s: Zeist and Ali
16 - 29 September 2001
Yaza Café Montgomery Carpark Nelson
Multi-Media 'Surrealist' Performance event 'Wave of Dreams ' a collaboration with John Heighes Performances By: DJ`s: Bertrand Rathbourne, Pearl, Danny Marshall and SG1, Live sound Artist:Bluey, Mr Boinkin and Delarays, Live VJ Zeist, Performances 'Erewhon' and 'Witness for 3' By: Let Dance Co with Julian Yates.
21 July 2001
Te Kapowai Studio, Mapua, Nelson
'Whispers - What did they say?' Performance By Let Dance Co and Guitarist Jared White

March 2001
International Dance Day, Trafalgar Centre, Nelson
2001 Dance Expo ' Walking and Falling', 6 dancers, Julian Yates, Paula Suckling, Hiske Buddingh, Keryn Squires, Fiona Gillespie and Mike Baker

Dec / Jan 2000 / 2001
The Gathering 2001, Canaan Downs, Takaka Hil
LET CI dance company performance at with members: Mike Baker, Julian Yates, Keryn Squires. 'White Noise' Choreographed multi-media video: 'Heads and Hands'

8 – 12 January 2001
Nelson Lakes Mountain Jam, Rotoiti Lodge,Nelson Lakes National Park
Annual Dance Retreat run by Michael Baker with International Teachers: Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa of 'Body Cartography' USA/NZ; Catherine Chapell of 'Touch Compass Dance Trust', NZ; Juliet Shelley, NZ

28 July 2000
Fishbowl Gallery NMIT Nelson Debut of LET CI Dance Co
Produced, directed and choreographed by Mike Baker 'A Series of Indiscreet Encounters in the Front Room' In collaboration with Kathleen Peacock

10 - 20 November 2000
Both Michael Baker and Fiona Gillespie attended 'Deepening the Form' with co-founder of Contact Improvisation Dance, Nancy Stark - Smith Contact Improvisation Dance workshop in Melbourne - 10 day workshop with State of Flux Contact Improvisation dance company and 28 dancers from Australia and NZ

Easter 2000
Michael Baker attended and danced / participated in 4 day Contact Improvisation Teachers Conference 'This Moment' with Martin Keogh, at Unitec Performing Arts, Auckland, NZ.

21 May 2000
Michael Baker opened Nelson`s first Contact Improvisation Dance class at Bodyflex Yoga Centre. Received endorsement for this from Catherine Chappell and Martin Keogh.

February 2000
Michael Baker attended a Contact Improvisation Dance class with Catherine Chappell at Unitec Performing Arts, Auckland. NZ

November 1999
Mike Baker applied for and received a Nelson Arts Council grant to bring Catherine Chappell and members of 'Touch Compass Dance Trust', Mixed Ability Dance Company from Auckland to Nelson, November 1999 to run a two day workshop (mixed-ability and able-bodied). Danced in the public performance at the end of the workshop, Methodist Church Hall, Nelson, NZ


Michael Baker's background lies in martial arts training since the age of seven, mostly orientated around the 'soft' arts of Japan and China - Judo, Aikido, Budo and for the last twenty-seven years, T`ai Chi Ch`uan which (like all martial arts forms) in its advanced practice recognises improvisation and 'form no form' as the highest level of accomplishment. Those teachers who have directly informed his movement learning, (apart from senseis` and sifus`), include Stephanie Challis, (London Contemporary Dance, NZ), Catherine Chappell (Touch Compass Dance Trust NZ), Nancy Stark-Smith (USA), Martin Keogh (USA) and Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa (BodyCartography Project, USA/NZ). His background is also in the visual arts. He has tutored full-time and exhibited in this area for many years and currently teaches - among other disciplines - installation / performance on the Bachelor in Visual Arts programme at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology in Nelson. As well as weekly Contact Improvisation Dance classes, he has been teaching T`ai Chi Ch`uan classes for 18 years and sees these two approaches to movement, on certain levels, inextricably linked.

Fiona Gillespie cannot remember a time when she did not dance. Although her 'formal' training ended in her teenage years with injured knees she remained in the Performing Arts field discovering Street Theatre, Improvised Theatre and Improvised Music. Travelling the country with a 'low rent' Roving Theatre Company, she developed work using recycled and found objects as the inspiration for the company's performances. In 2000 Fiona redefined her dance through improvised music and then discovered Contact Improvisation Dance classes taught by Michael Baker in Nelson. Since then she has danced with Nancy Stark-Smith (USA), Otto Ramstad and Olive Bieringa (BodyCartography Project USA/NZ) and Wilhemeena Gordon (aka Ivy Granite, NZ). Her theatrical training was with Kim Merry of 'Still life Productions' in Nelson New Zealand.



Michael Baker
Fiona Gillespie





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