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Community Workshop: Contact Improvisation Jam// June 14, 2014

  • Friends Meeting House 506 26th Ave N Nashville, TN, 37209 United States (map)
Photo: Eden Frangipane Shepherd

Photo: Eden Frangipane Shepherd

About Contact Improvisation:

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.

Video Clips: 

Fall After Newton 1

Fall After Newton 2

Fall After Newton 3 


What to Expect at a Jam

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.  All ages and abilities are welcome and appreciated!  

Special Note: Participants must be 16+. 


Erin Law: facilitator

Erin Law is a movement educator, improviser, choreographer, and performance artist based in Nashville, Tennessee, who is determined to both challenge and bring harmony to her community through dance.  Most recently she has completed a yearlong Visiting Assistant Professorship at Denison University where she was in residence as sabbatical replacement for Dr. Gill Wright Miller.  Previously Erin taught and choreographed at Middle Tennessee State University for the 2011-2012 school year and before that was Director of the co-curricular Vanderbilt Dance Program for two years. She still remains a creative collaborator and performer in Company Rose with Artistic Director Marsha Barsky based in Nashville, Tennessee.  Originally from Massachusetts, Law attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. and high honors in dance. She went on to the Integrated Movement Studies program to certify in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (LMA) through the University of Utah and in the spring of 2011, Erin graduated from the Master of Fine Arts program in dance at Smith College (Massachusetts) with her MFA in choreography and performance.



SATURDAY | June 14, 2014

Contact Improvisation Jam    10:30-12:30 PM



 $15/ class

Doors will be open 30 minutes before class starts. New Dialect accepts cash or check made payable to New Dialect.  Please be sure to arrive a few minutes early to ensure you're registered and that class begins on time. 



The Friends Meeting House 

530 26th Ave N 

Nashville, TN 37309


About New Dialect: Community

New Dialect: Community movement classes are designed specifically for men and women with no previous dance experience and movers of all levels ages 14+. Workshops like Gaga/PeopleAlexander TechniqueFeldenkreis, Contact Improvisation, and Dancing into Self-Integration allow members of the community to experience the emotionally and physically healing properties of dance: strengthening our bodies, sharpening our minds, and connecting us more deeply to ourselves through movement.

For more information on New Dialect: Community classes and workshops, visit out website at or email us at