05/10/2018 - 07/10/2018    
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


DMAC, (4th Floor) Hamilton House
80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY

Event Type

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Everything you need to know about attending the National Jam!

We’re all very excited about the weekend and looking forward to meeting and dancing with visitors from all over the UK.

Here is some important information for the weekend. Please read it to ensure you can get the most out of the event. If you have any queries please contact info@contactdance.co.uk

Arrival and registration

  • The event starts on Friday evening at 6pm with the opening jam. We are aware not everyone will be able to arrive for this or may arrive late. This is fine, you’ll be able to register whenever you arrive.

  • The event continues on Saturday morning from 9am with 2 morning warm-up classes happening simultaneously. If you want to do one of these please arrive in good time – aim to be there by 8:45.

  • We will continue registering people during the warm-up classes and hope everyone will be ready for the opening circle at 10 and the main classes/jam starting at 10:30.

  • We will issue you with a piece of coloured wool to be worn as a wrist band so we can identify who has a ticket – with a different colour for Saturday and Sunday. This will help us to quickly identify who has a ticket and who needs to pay for individual events, so please help us by wearing the wrist bands.

  • On registration you will be required to sign a disclaimer form making clear that you are aware CI can be risky and that Bristol Contact Improvisation cannot be held liable for any injuries sustained over the weekend.


  • The event is at DMAC Dance Studios and the Event Space on floors 3 and 4 of Hamilton House, Stokes Croft, BS1 3QY. https://www.hamiltonhouse.org/getting-here/

  • You can easily get a bus in to central Bristol and walk to Hamilton House. Google Maps and most Bristolians will be able to direct you to Stokes Croft. Driving in might involve difficulty parking – see below.

  • It’s also possible to get a train from Temple Meads Station to Montpelier Station which is about 10 minutes walk from Hamilton House.


  • Free parking can be difficult to find nearby as we are close to the city centre. The nearest multi-storey car parks are about 10 minutes walk away, NCP on Bond Street BS1 3LJ and Cabot Circus on Newfoundland Circus BS2 9AB. These can be an expensive option for the whole day!

  • On a Saturday I would highly recommend getting a bus into central Bristol rather than driving and expecting to easily find a parking space.

  • On a Sunday all day or a Friday or Saturday evening you should be able to park on single yellow lines and pay and display spaces on Upper York Street BS2 8QN or surrounding streets in Nearby St Pauls for free.

Things to bring

  • a blanket and cushion if possible to add to our chill out area

  • water bottle

  • layers of clothing so you can regulate your temperature to your liking

  • Kneepads if you use them. We will have limited numbers for sale for £10 a pair.


  • We will be providing hot water, a variety of teas and snacks to sustain people throughout the weekend.

  • Lunch and dinner can be purchased from a large ranged of local cafes, shops and takeaways. The venue we are at has it’s own bar/restaurant called The Canteen on the ground floor.

  • We are hoping to be able to have a communal dinner together on Saturday between 5 and 6:30 at the Canteen and aim to book a big table for this.


  • Please help the event to run smoothly by referring to the schedule (which will be displayed prominently) and turning up to classes on time whenever possible.

  • There is a warm-up class and workshop which can only cope with limited numbers. There will be other things to do instead. Please read below.

Morning Warm-up Classes

  • Pilates meets improvisation” with Itta Howie running 9am to 10am on Saturday and Sunday is limited to 11 spaces. On the Saturday there is a different warm up running simultaneously. On the Sunday this is the only warm-up, so please turn up early.

  • In past experience of National Jams very few people turn up to a 9am warm-up class, particularly when it gets to Sunday. However, there will be space in the studio for people to perform their own quiet individual warm-ups if they are not able to join Itta’s class.

The Perception Gap (with Lisa May Thomas)

  • This is a unique opportunity to try something quite different – An exploration into bodies – human and non-human – that are seen and unseen; felt and not felt in the layering of the real and the virtual using a multi-person VR (virtual reality) framework. This framework enables bodies to enter into VR together and to be both physically and virtually present with each other.”

  • Due to this involving quite a technical set-up, the maximum number who can participate in this workshop is 18. There will be a warm-up into a jam accompanied by live music going on in a different space simultaneously, for those who prefer straight forward CI with no technology involved.

  • If you want to attend Lisa’s workshop, please email info@contactdance.co.uk as soon as possible to book a space. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Event “go to” people

We’ve got a great team of volunteers for the weekend. Talk to them if you have any questions on the day. They are Asher, Dee and Silvia.

If you really need to talk to the main organisers, come and talk to us, K’lo and Simon. Please be aware we will be really busy with just about everything, as well as trying to have a dance or two!

Workshops led by Alistair Edmunds, Rosalind Holgate Smith and Lisa May Thomas
Underscore led by Agnieszka Grenckowska
Early morning warm-ups with Itta Howie
Jam facilitation by Jocasta Crofts, Sam Bloomfield and K’lo Harris

Large wooden floored dance studio plus second dance space available on Saturday
14 hours jamming including the Underscore
8 hours of classes
2 hours of morning warm up classes
2 hours open space for labbing/discussion/exploration etc.
Easy access to places to eat and drink
Easy access by public transport from the rest of Bristol

Early bird before 5th September £65
After 5th September £70

We are hoping to provide non-Bristol dancers with accommodation with members of the Bristol CI community. When buying your ticket, please complete the questionnaire to help us match dancers with suitable hosts.

Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3577775

Below is a full schedule. Read on for details of the sessions offered.

For those unable to attend the whole event, it will be possible to attend different bits of it and pay on the day. Have a look at the schedule and descriptions below. Come and dive into the jam!

Day Ticket (Sat or Sun) – £40
Opening jam (Fri night) – £5
Closing jam (Sunday night) – £5
Morning warm up (Sat/Sun 9 to 10) – £5
Perception Gap (Sat class) – £15
Fluid Freedom #1 (Sat class) – £10
Fluid Freedom #2 (Sun Class) – £15
Saturday jams (morning and evening) – £10
Moving Underscore (Sunday) £15

Fluid Freedom  – Alistair Edmunds and Rosalind Holgate-Smith

Inspired by a sense of fluids we will explore falling, flying and floating, dancing in duets and solos and investigating experiences of freedom.

We would like to facilitate dancers to dive deeper into the embodiment of the fluid system, drawing on our own research and knowledge of BMC and unpicking how this system supports us in CI. We are also interested to explore what it means to experience freedom on physical terms, in contact improvisation and how we consider our embodied experience beyond the dance studio.

We will use body work, movement scores, partner exercises, movement, visualisation and touch, to facilitate an experience of self-discovery within the body and in the dance.

Alistair Edmunds

Ali is based in Bristol where he regularly teaches CI and somatic movement sessions. He has been dancing CI for over 10 years. He has trained in Body-Mind Centering and is currently a student of Craniosacral Therapy. Ali is also inspired by qi gong, martial arts and climbing.

Rosalind Holgate-Smith 

Rosalind is a Dance Artist based in Snowdonia. She creates performances and installations inspired by her work with Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement and Body-Mind Centering. Her dance practice is also inspired by her love of swimming, and the textures of moving outdoors. She has a Masters in Dance Creative practice and a BA degree in Fine Art and Choreography.  She has been practising CI for 10 years and besides teaching workshops internationally she has led regular classes at Chester University, at Goldsmiths and now facilitates ‘CI North Wales’. Rosalind has further experience facilitating dance for diverse groups including children, disabled adults and older people and also teaches yoga and swimming with the Alexander technique.


The Perception Gap – Lisa May Thomas  

An exploration into bodies – human and nonhuman – that are seen and unseen; felt and not felt in the layering of the real and the virtual using a multi-person VR (virtual reality) framework. This framework enables bodies to enter into VR together and to be both physically and virtually present with each other.

The session will be an exploration using VR technology to investigate what it means to be virtual bodies in a virtual environment and how this can feed back into the physical (jam) space and to physical – seen and felt – connections between bodies.

I am exploring the perception gap between what is seen and what is felt when a body enters into a virtual environment using VR technology. I am interested in how it might it be possible to use ‘dancerly’ sensibilities and practices such as peripheral intelligence and using touch as a point of orientation and navigation between two moving bodies to inform how the technology is used; and to discover if there are ways in which this technology can help the dancer to know the body and exchanges between bodies and environments in a different way.

Lisa May Thomas

Lisa is a contemporary dance artist who has worked with dance for screen and whose award-winning film work has been presented globally and broadcast for BBC and Channel 4. She trained at Laban (BA) and received an MPhil in performance and technology at the University of Bristol (UoB) as their first hybrid arts scholar, with a grant from Interactive Scientific. Her research sits between the departments of drama and computer science and takes a dance-somatic approach to her investigations into how digital technologies mediate interactions between human and nonhuman bodies, and ways in which digital tools can be used to develop an aesthetics of interaction. Her current PhD studies are funded by a UoB arts scholarship, with additional support from David Glowacki’s Royal Society Research Fellowship and Phillip Leverhulme Award.


The Moving Underscore – Agnieszka Grenckowska

Agnieszka will lead this fundamental CI practice that has grown out of investigations by Nancy stark Smith into what happens at CI Jams.
Nancy named and codified her observations, sharing these with the CI community and as a result underscore practice has become not only a useful tool for entering a Jam space and sustaining own participation throughout but also a bit of a CI Ritual Practice.
Agnieszka will be introducing Nancy’s Underscore symbols whilst facilitating us to move and embody their qualities and the states of improvised dance, so that those principles are felt rather than just thought.
It is encouraged that people participate for the whole jam to gain a better understanding of the full process as well as ‘ritual’ aspect of the work (togetherness, care, moment to moment creation, active reflection, sharing).

Agnieszka Agni Grenckowska

Agnieszka’s vision is centered around bringing people together and helping them experience their selves through embodying the universal laws of life. She does this as a healthcare practitioner, dance practitioner, movement teacher, event organiser and a holistic personal development coach. She trained formally and informally in Contact Improvisation Dance form, been actively practicing Contact Improvisation for 12 years. She contributed to the formation of Contact Improvisation Dance platform in Bristol and organized several local events, such as Bristol National Jam as well as co organised European ones: ECITE Poland 2013, Flow Warsaw 2015. Agnieszka is also teaching a holistic movement class to women from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Inner City Bristol.

Her collaboration with Nancy Stark Smith: she has co-organised the Global Underscore with Nancy Stark Smith during her residency in Poland in 2014. She worked closely with Nancy in 2011 at the States of Grace residential intensive in Spain and developed a Polish translation for the Underscore that is now being used by the local communities.


Pilates meets Improvisation (Stability & Mobility of Joints) – Itta Howie

A whole-body warm-up class drawing on the discipline of Pilates and the explorative nature of improvisation. In this slow and focused class we prepare our bodies for taking weight and for moving with fluidity. No previous Pilates experience necessary. Individual guidance will be given within the group context.

Itta Howie

Itta is a Bristol-based movement artist who explores dance improvisation in relation to other art forms, in urban and natural environments, and occasionally in the context of performance.
In 2014 Itta qualified as a Pilates mat work teacher. She has been teaching Pilates to a wide range of clients ever since.
‘I enjoy seeing my clients gain strength, mobility and body awareness, and feel privileged to observe them flourish as they re-discover their bodies anew’.
Itta is intrigued by how her two passions (the Pilates system and movement improvisation) could meet and feed each other. To explore this interweaving of forms she uses a teaching approach inspired by experiential anatomy facilitation.
Itta has been a regular practitioner of somatic movement and dance improvisation (incl. CI) for many years.

Jam Facilitation
Connecting with Your Animal Body – Jocasta Crofts 

Moving through the evolution of the developmental levels. Opening the senses and using them as animals/other mammals do. Breathing as an animal. Sounds from your organs as an animal. Meeting and moving with others/alone in the quality of your animal. Allowing your reflexes, instincts and intuition to lead your animal dance.
This warm up can open up tactile, less heady states of play and dancing. It invites people to tune into their body not their head by moving through the developmental levels and opening the senses.
The following jam will be accompanied by a projection of the film
“Ashes and Snow” by Gregory Colbert.
The film shows humans and animals moving together and makes for a lovely animal connection to round off the Jam.

Jocasta Crofts

Jocasta is a body worker & healer – working with healing energy through touch and movement. She teaches Baby massage, Kids yoga and Contact Improv. Jocasta has 20 years of CI dancing & teaching experience, having trained with many teachers at schools,festivals and workshops in Europe and USA including Somatic Educator Training (SME) and Infant Development Movement Education (IDME) Programme with The School for Body Mind Centering.
I trust the body and its animal ways of being and moving.
I am a mama and that dance with my son constantly teaches me about relating and contact as well as keeping me quite busy.

Solo, Shared or Other – Sam Bloomfield

We will be following group/solo scores, fully improvised, based on inviting dancers to find their own score, both created in the moment and/or with ‘score cards’.
We will experiment with holding a score firmly and lightly to find the balance between having one’s own dance, sharing a dance and dancing someone else’s dance.
This will be a playful and free warm-up leading into a jam, ideal for all levels

Sam Bloomfield

Sam is a dance movement psychotherapist (MA RDMP) with over 25 years’ experience in facilitating workshops. Since 2002 he has trained adults at festivals, colleges and teaching staff in special needs schools. His regular work is as a psychotherapist in Bristol schools (mainstream and SEN) and adult care provisions. He is also a full member of the College of Healing and is a body-work teacher with 27 years’ experience in transformational bodywork.
Sam is the author of a book on poetry “Human Ocean” (2nd edition), and an exhibiting artist (2015) and regular performer in poetry, dance, sound and digital media. In addition to his distinction in a three year creative arts psychotherapy MA (2017), he has trained extensively in personal development. He is currently teaching workshops in Contact Improvisation, Whole Heart – Whole Body, Men – The Lion and Dove, Body Poetry – words and movement and Igniting Creativity. He is fully CRB checked.