New Dialect is a Nashville contemporary dance collective founded by Banning Bouldin. Tomorrow night, they’re throwing a “contact jam” led by my good friend Erin Law. (You may have seen Erin’s performance art show You’re a Winner last year on the Noa Noa back porch.)
What the heck is a contact jam? The New Dialect event page explains:
Contact Improvisation (CI) came into existence in the early 1960s and was developed, expanded, and promoted primarily by Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith among countless others who have since joined the CI community. Its creators have at times resisted defining the form, stating the very nature of CI is in the “doing.” Most simply, it can be described as an extemporaneous form of movement most often done with a partner or small group of people. Within the partnership or small group, various aspects of falling, touch, weight-sharing, lifting, and decision-making in the moment are explored. Many do not consider CI to be a “performance form;” rather it is seen as a communal form of movement in which the experiences of the movers are central.
A jam is an extended improvisation during which dancers explore the possibilities of movement while embracing the unpredictability of each moment. It is an opportunity to “learn through doing” and a practice of problem-solving though making non-verbal decisions. Through this format we have the opportunity to experience longer dances in the form of solos, duets, small groups, or the full group, while expanding and sharpening our sensory awareness as kinesthetic beings. The jam is a celebration of individual and community; there are no “wrong answers” (unless there is intent is to hurt someone.) There is always the opportunity to exit and take a break and re-enter when ready.
Erin told me that she’s also looking for sound artists to join in, so bring your instruments and move your fingers if you’re uncomfortable moving your feet.
The contact jam goes down at Nashville Friends Meeting House Saturday, June 14th, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $15.
Erin is also teaching a contact improvisation workshop June 16th -2oth. Details about the workshop are here.
New Dialect Contact Improvisation Jam
Saturday, June 14, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., participants 16 & up, $15
@ Friends Meeting House (map)
506 26th Ave N
Nashville, TN, 37209