The Underscore is a long-form dance improvisation structure developed by Nancy Stark Smith. It has been evolving since 1990 and is practiced all over the globe.
The Underscore is a vehicle for incorporating Contact Improvisation into a broader arena of improvisational dance practice; for developing greater ease dancing in spherical space—alone and with others; and for integrating kinesthetic and compositional concerns while improvising. It allows for a full spectrum of energetic and physical expressions, embodying a range of forms and changing states. Its practice is familiar yet unpredictable.
To participate in an Underscore, one should have some experience of Contact Improvisation and attend a talk-through of the Underscore, which often takes about an hour. The Underscore is not led with verbal cues; the idea is that people “know” it already and are coming together to share the practice. Participants come on time and stay for the duration of the event.