BIPOC Contact Improvisation Jam

Dec 5, 2019, 6:00 pm8:00 pm EST



280 Broadway, Entrance at 53A Chambers
New York, NY 10007 United States

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Phone: (646) 837-6809


TUESDAY, JUL 9: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCT 22: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
THURSDAY, DEC 5: 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Do you identify as a Black, Indigenous or any persons of color (BIPOC)? Do you practice Contact Improvisation or want to learn about it? Do you have any skills or exploratory scores related to Contact that you would like to share?

Contact, y’know it’s that rolly, touchy stuff that white people do? Nah?! You don’t? Well, hold on! We’re going do it our way.

Come to the Parcon Resilience BIPOC Contact Improvisation Jams and the BIPOC Long Table community conversation. We are asking for only people who identify as BIPOC to attend these events to facilitate healing and an increased verbal and contact-based understanding of each others’ realities. Black and Indigenous intersections of race are named not to exclude any people of color but to center their experience as people who have endured the most oppression at the hands of the state. Click here for more information.

No experience is necessary!

Other Parcon Resilience BIPOC Contact Improvisation Jams at MNDFL UES on Sep.  8 and Nov. 10 from 6:30-8:30 PM.


“Contact Improvisation is a movement improvisation that is explored with an other being. According to one of its first practitioners, Nancy Stark Smith, it « resembles other familiar duet forms, such as the embrace, wrestling, surfing, martial arts, and the jitterbug, encompassing a wide range of movement from stillness to highly athletic.”1

The founder Steve Paxton defines CI as, “The exigencies of the form dictate a mode of movement which is relaxed, constantly aware and prepared, and onflowing. As a basic focus, the dancers remain in physical touch, mutually supportive and innovative, meditating upon the physical laws relating to their masses: gravity, momentum, inertia, and friction. They do not strive to achieve results, but rather, to meet the constantly changing physical reality with appropriate placement and energy.”2


by Andrew Suseno

I believe the practice of CI was meant for all people of all races, ages, and abilities.

In practice Contact Improvisation(CI) Jams are often white, heteronormative, and able-bodied centric with a majority of practitioners being liberal white university students/alums and teachers. And while this population often means well, they have historically universalized participant experiences toward whiteness, micro-aggressed, and negated alternate cultural and socio-emotional experience. Many BIPOC across the country have been turned off from further exploration of CI at Jams, or at all, not because they are not curious about CI, but because of the insidious toxicity, cultural impositions, and isolation experienced in jams.

1 Nancy Stark Smith et David Koteen (2013), Caught Falling. The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas, Contact Editions, p. xii

2Steve Paxton, “A Definition”, Contact Quarterly, Winter 1979, p. 26.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Suseno. 


Gibney 280 Broadway is accessible via elevator from the main entrance at 53A Chambers Street.

We welcome the opportunity to make this event more accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. Please request ASL interpreting, audio description, or open captioning 30 days before the event or submit other requests by completing our Access Requests and Inquiries Form or calling 646.837.6809 (Voice only).