Join our events in 2018

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Dancing contact improvisation at one of our dance sessions, Dec. 2016. Photo: Pier Corona

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The Garden Dance & Workshops, September: 16, 23, 29

Join us and create a composition for the Garden Dance on the afternoon of Saturday 29 September. We invite all dancers – ideally with some experience of contact improvisation – to participate and create a moving flowing sculpture. We’d love to work with you all on this, and offer two workshops including one for dancers with no experience of contact improvisation technique.

This is our maxim: All life a dance; everyone a dancer; every moment a dance

Contact Refresher & Introduction to Contact Improvisation

Photo of Wassily Kandinsky painting
Photo of Wassily Kandinsky painting by https://www.flickr.com/photos/89375755@N00/ under a Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

When: 16 September from 13:00-16:00

Where: Multi-Purpose Room (in basement), Oxford University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ. Note: everyone welcome including non-club/non-university members.

Cost: Free if you intend to participate in the Garden Dance or otherwise £10. Note: Experience dancers may attend without charge to assist with the teaching and learning.

Class for beginners in dancing contact improvisation or those wanting a refresher (1-3pm with dance session ‘jam’ 3-4 pm). If you have little or no experience of dancing contact improvisation and wish to participate in the Garden Dance then please join this workshop. You’ll also need to attend the Composition Workshop too to dance in the Garden Dance (see below).

Contact improvisation is a dance which originated in the 1970’s and which has now spread throughout the world. It’s often taught in university dance courses but it’s easy to learn and fun. It’s an improvised dance – a dialogue in movement – which has a fluid and dynamic form.

Please wear loose clothing and bring a water bottle. The teacher is Andrew Wood.

Facebook event for this workshop.

Poster for this workshop (PDF).

Garden Dance Composition Workshop

Photo of Wassily Kandinsky painting
Photo of Wassily Kandinsky painting by https://www.flickr.com/photos/89375755@N00/ under a Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

When: 23 September from 12:30-16:00

Where: Multi-Purpose Room (in basement), Oxford University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ. Note: everyone welcome including non-club/non-university members.

Cost: Free but email Oxford Contact Dance (contact@contactdance.org). Note: you must also participate in the Garden Dance.

We’ll use 1.2 meter wooden poles as a compositional device in this dance. The actual ‘stage’ is a small round area of grass so we’ll have these geometric shapes – lines and a circle – along with the movement of our dance with which to create a score/composition. The artistic director is Andrew Wood.

If you have no experience of dancing contact improvisation and wish to participate in the Garden Dance then please join our Contact Refresher (1-4pm) on Sunday 16 September. See above for further details

Please wear loose clothing and bring a water bottle.

The painting shown is by Wassily Kandinsky which we take as an inspiration. He said:

“At that time [~1904 – 1905] I tried, by means of lines and by distribution of mottled points of colours to express the musical spirit of Russia. Other pictures of that period reflected the contradictions and later the eccentricities of Russia.” — Wassily Kandinsky

Facebook event for this workshop.

Poster for this workshop (PDF).

Dance in the Park, August: 1, 15, 23, 29

Learn to dance and jam contact improvisation with us

Come and dance or learn to dance, contact improvisation/ contact tango with us in University Parks, Oxford. All welcome. We're meeting 6.30pm at Keble Gate, University Parks (AT KEBLE GATE - by the gate on the pavement, not inside the park and not the main gate!) which is at the intersection of Keble Road & Parks Road, next to the new physics building, to find a spot in the park. There is an optional introductory session or simply come to dance. Note: no amplified music is allowed in the park but acoustic instruments welcome.

Contact improvisation is a dance which originated in the 1970’s and which has now spread throughout the world. It’s often taught in university dance courses but it’s easy to learn and fun. It’s an improvised dance - a dialogue in movement - which has a fluid and dynamic form, and it’s social dancing; not stage dancing. Suitable for everyone, whatever your age, gender or dancing experience.

Please bring a water bottle and wear loose clothing in which you can move freely.

Cost: Free!

Location: Meeting at Keble Gate, University Parks, Parks Road, Oxford. The gate is opposite the intersection of Keble Road & Parks Road and beside the Physics building. Keble Gate is shown on this map). You can also see a picture of Keble Gate on Google's Streetview too.

Time: 6.30 - 8.30 pm

This is our maxim: All life a dance; everyone a dancer; every moment a dance

Dance in the Park, July: 4, 12, 18, 26

Dance in the Park, June: 13, 21, 28

Dance Sunday, 22 April

Dancing contact improvisation
Oxford Contact Dance session December 2016. Photo credit: Pier Corona

Stop Press! Josie Webber will accompany our dancing on her cello.

Location: Oxford University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ. Note: everyone welcome including non-club/non-university members.

Time: 1 - 4 pm

Cost: £15 or £10 concessions

This is a class and dance session for contact improvisation. There's a two hour class which will teach fundamental skills in contact improvisation, and it's suitable for beginners and experienced dancers. Then we'll have an hours dance session - a 'jam' as it's known - accompanied by cello. Afterwards, you'll feel invigorated and free from tension.

Contact improvisation is a dance which originated in the 1970’s and which has now spread throughout the world. It’s often taught in university dance courses but it’s easy to learn and fun. It’s an improvised dance - a dialogue in movement - which has a fluid and dynamic form, and it’s social dancing; not stage dancing.

Please wear loose clothing in which you can move freely and bring a bottle of water. Note: We'll use the MPR (Multi-Purpose Room) on the lower floor of the University Club.

After the dance session, there will be a meeting at 4pm in the Cafe at the University Club for prospective members of Oxford Contact Dance. All welcome.

Note: Drop-in session, reservations unnecessary.

Example videos Jam - number 2 (Gabriela Tropia) ; Jam - number 3 (Gabriela Tropia)

Easter Dance - Bank Holiday Monday 2 April: Dance contact improvisation with us

Easter Dance
Photo: Pamela Carls Easter Eggs (2007) https://www.flickr.com/photos/irisdragon used under a Creative Commons license.

This is a two hour dance session with an introduction to contact improvisation for beginners on Bank Holiday Monday. We will be using the space at Common Ground in Oxford, and improvising and composing a dance. Easter treat: it's free!

Contact improvisation is a dance which originated in the 1970’s and which has now spread throughout the world. It’s often taught in university dance courses but it’s easy to learn and fun. It’s an improvised dance - a dialogue in movement - which has a fluid and dynamic form, and it’s social dancing; not stage dancing.

Example videos of contact improvisation (on vimeo; film maker Gabriela Tropia): Video Jam #13 ; Video Jam #10 ; Video Jam #6 ; Video Jam #5 ; Video Jam #2.

Common Ground (see https://www.facebook.com/CommonGroundWorkspace/) was formerly a Barclays Bank but it is now used as a community and co-working space with a cafe, cycle repair, workshops, yoga and dance/performance. The dance space is the former bank vault! But there's no money in it now! There are mats and it's a unique space for dance, yoga, etc.

Please bring a water bottle and wear loose clothing. Afterwards, well go for coffee, cake, ice cream and yes, Easter eggs if that's what you want!

Google map here showing Common Ground's location!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/182028002594079/

Dance Lab : Falling UP! Sunday 4 March

Dance Lab
Photo: Join us at our first Dance Lab session.

Location: Oxford University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ. Note: everyone welcome including non-club/non-university members.

Time: 1 - 4 pm

Cost: £10 (members**)/£13 (non-members)

Falling in love might be easy but falling in dance can be trickier! In this 'laboratory' session, we'll investigate falling which is fun, safe and dynamic using techniques from contact improvisation. Let's lab!

Contra-balancing and rotation; spiralling and our bodies natural elasticity can direct our momentum to make falling less down and more up! Beside our investigation, there will be an hours dance session (jam) where you can dance freely. Andrew Wood will facilitate the session.

Please wear loose clothing in which you can move freely and bring a bottle of water. Note: We'll use the MPR (Multi-Purpose Room) on the lower floor. Some experience of Contact Improvisation helpful but not essential.

(**Note: Membership of Oxford Contact Dance is £10 for the calendar year 2018. You can purchase membership at your first session with us which gives discounts and a say in the running of Oxford Contact Dance - a constituted association.)

Workshop: Grounding & Fragile Balances, Sunday 11 February

Library Dance, Dec 2017
Photo: In December 2017, Oxford Contact Dance performed in Oxford's Central Library.
There were four dancers. Photographer: Karl Wallendszus.

Location: Oxford University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ. Note: everyone welcome including non-club/non-university members.

Time: 2 - 4 pm

Cost: £10 (members)/£15 (non-members)

No booking required - just turn up. Some experience of Contact Improvisation recommended.

This two hour workshop for dancing contact improvisation will use training from a week long intensive with Jorg Hassmann earlier this year, called Grounding & Fragile Balances.

Jorg Hassmann, contact improvisation dance teacher:

'One essential ingredient of CI technique is that we constantly create fragile balances - to loose them and to catch them again. Static stability produces safety and stuckness in what we know but does not serve an alive dance.

'I want to give a good sense of grounding to grow the necessary trust so we can let go of holding patterns that limit aliveness. I want to invite the pleasure of subtleties that change the way we experience ourselves, the dance and maybe bits of our life beyond.'

Please wear loose clothing in which you can move freely and bring a bottle of water. We'll use the MPR (Multi-Purpose Room) on the lower floor.

(Note: Membership of Oxford Contact Dance is £10 for the calendar year 2018. You can purchase membership at your first session with us which gives discounts and a say in the running of Oxford Contact Dance - a constituted association.)

New Year Jam! January 9 2018; Tuesday Drop-in Class - January 16, 30 2018

All these events take place at the University Club: Oxford University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ. Note: everyone welcome including non-club/non-university members.

Library Dance, Dec 2017
Photo: In December 2017, Oxford Contact Dance performed in Oxford's Central Library.
There were four dancers. Photographer: Karl Wallendszus.

Tuesday 9 Jan 2018: New Year Jam! (dance session)

Time: 7.30 - 9.30 pm

Cost: £10/£8 concs.

No booking required - just turn up

This is a two hour dance session for contact improvisation (which is also known as a jam!) without a class where you can dance, learn from others and practice dancing. All welcome. Please wear loose clothing in which you can move freely and bring a bottle of water. Note: We'll use the MPR (Multi-Purpose Room) on the lower floor of the Club.

Tuesday 16, 30 Jan 2018: Tuesday Drop-in Class

Time: 7.30 - 9.30 pm

Cost: £10/£8 concs.

No booking required - just turn up

Our regular weekly dance classes are on Tuesday evening (but NOT Tue 23 Jan). We'll be exploring tools for improvising and developing our technique for dancing contact improvisation. Suitable for beginners and experienced dancers. Please wear loose clothing in which you can move freely and bring a bottle of water. Note: We'll use the MPR (Multi-Purpose Room) on the lower floor of the Club.

Previous events at Oxford Contact Dance, 2017-2014

See events in 2017 and before.