Crossing the street, an older man stands on the corner and gestures for me to come over. I approach. He says quietly, simply: I want you to come over and visit with me. I reply, curious and hesitant: Do you live around here? He gestures with an arm extended: across the street. 113. I follow his gesture with my eyes, turn back to him and say: I can’t right now but thank you for the invitation. He turns to cross on a red light, I reach out and touch his arm: watch out, not yet. I turn and leave.

The exchange is gentle, non threatening but far from banal. I’ve been asked to give something of myself: time, trust , compassion. I feel a sense of desperation rising, panic. How much do I need to give? Will it ever be enough? I think of Yoko Ono”s Cut Piece, Carolee Schneemann group improvisations, Wilhelm Reich’s body armour and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen explaining the difference between sensing and feeling, Irene Dowd and intentional touch.

This is another way of preparing the body/mind for physical improvisation. Leading the participants through guided give and take, offering and receiving. Trust and wordless dialogue.

Care full, supported,not equal but reciprocal. It is not about matching but listening to the request and negotiating a return.

A student expressed fear of working with disproportionate bodies afraid of injury. I was surprised because I had forgotten that the students needed more body listening tools. How to give and take….