We have a monthly Contact Improvisation class and jam at Wainsgate – usually on the last Sunday of the month, but it shifts around a little so check for updates.
The class and jam are welcoming, physical and fun, and are open to all, so come along and try it out.
Classes are led by different experienced teachers from near and far, and offer a way into the jam giving some shared information and focus to move with.
The jam is a space for exploring contact improvisation in a focused space, and is an opportunity to dance with different people.
The session starts at 12 with a two hour class, then there’s a break for 45 minutes, chance to eta something and hang out a bit, and then a couple more hours for jamming.
Wainsgate Chapel, Wainsgate Lane, Old Town, Hebden Bridge HX7 8SU
How to get there: https://www.wainsgate.co.uk/visit/
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
Wainsgate Chapel is a former Baptist chapel hidden away down a quiet track on a hillside just outside Hebden Bridge in the South Penines of West Yorkshire.
The historic Grade II listed building has a thriving international arts programme with regular concerts, dance performances, open studios, workshops and residencies, as well as many other events from exhibitions and film nights to markets and Heritage Open Days, which attract and engage with communities from near and far.
Find out about out more about Wainsgate’s rich heritage including information about The Wainsgate Graveyard Project and our Wainsgate Remembered photographic archive and aural history project.
You can also read about our plans for a Garden for Lost Workers to remember all those who have lost their lives at work.
Our programme brings growing numbers of people together from the local area and from much further afield in high quality, thought provoking and life affirming events.
Wainsgate Chapel is owned by the Historic Chapels Trust and is run by an enthusiastic and dedicated group of local volunteers with a variety of skills – the Friends of Wainsgate.
Take a look around the website to see what’s going on in our busy and varied programme, get involved, or just come and visit soon!
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