Next Contact Improvisation Class & Jam on Sunday 31st July 12-5pm £12

For more information, and to book, email wainsgatedances@gmail.com

A monthly class and jam (usually) held on the last Sunday of the month with occasional exceptions.The afternoon will start with a two hour class working with some fundamentals of Contact Improvisation, and will be led by Charlie Morrissey (and other visiting teachers) followed by a break and then plenty of time for jamming.

A contact jam is a traditional part of contact improvisation practice and offers an informal space for dancers to play and work – teasting things out and experimenting with the practice of Contact Improvisation.

The class will explore different ways of working with weight in relation to gravity, sharing weight with other bodies, rolls, falls, lifts, physical listening and tuning exercises. The class is for those with varying experience of Contact Improvisation and those with none.

Charlie has been involved in the practice of Contact Improvisation for over 30 years working with many of the initiators of the form

Here are two of many definitions of Contact Improvisation:

Contact Improvisation is an evolving system of movement initiated in 1972 by American choreographer Steve Paxton. The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner.

Contact improvisations are spontaneous physical dialogues that range from stillness to highly energetic exchanges. Alertness is developed in order to work in an energetic state of physical disorientation, trusting in one’s basic survival instincts. It is a free play with balance, self-correcting the wrong moves and reinforcing the right ones, bringing forth a physical/emotional truth about a shared moment of movement that leaves the participants informed, centered, and enlivened.

An early definition by Steve Paxton and others, 1970s, from CQ Vol. 5:1, Fall 1979

Contact Improvisation is an open-ended exploration of the kinaesthetic possibilities of bodies moving through contact. Sometimes wild and athletic, sometimes quiet and meditative, it is a form open to all bodies and enquiring minds.

—from Ray Chung workshop announcement, London, 2009

Find out more about Contact Improvisation here

More about Charlie Morrissey here

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