Welcome to our playgrounds for dance, scene and music improvisation!
Music is movement, is dance, is encounter. Listening to silence in the room around and in us. A discovery of movements beyond the known, of our impulses beyond the planned. A shared dance that no one knows, no one controlls, no one completely understands. An improvisation fusion of dance jam, music jam and scenic experimentation. We surrender ourselves to the body, to the senses, to life, to stop trying to do something and suddenly something new emerges. Being, all of me, of us is there and dancing and playing and encountering and jamjam….
A JamJam is a playground where experimentation with movement, encounter and sound mutually inspire each other. Never done something like this before? Then come by and get to know us! We host improv spaces in the Ruhr area on a regular basis. No prior experience is necessary.
At the end of July 2022, we hosted the JamJam Festival for the second time. Within the framework of carefully composed workshops from dance therapy, theater pedagogy, music therapy and liberal arts, we were able to dive deep into the connection to ourselves and the encounter with each other.
For newsletters or questions: jamjam-witten (at) posteo.de
The highlight of our activities in 2021 and 2022 was the JamJam Festival. At the end of July, about 120 improvisation enthusiasts and interested people came together at the idyllically located Fellershof near Velbert/Wuppertal. Selected international artists an creative therapists opened up spaces of experience within the framework of intensive workshops, where participants could individually and collectively release creative creative power. Authentic, sensitive and many-sided improvisational moments emerged. In the evening JamJams, the qualities from the different workshops and disciplines were brought together so that we could celebrate true “festivals” of improvisation.
The JamJam was a participatory festival. The participants were not only able to shape the artistic course of the festival through their feedback, they were also involved in many tangible tasks, from setting up to cleaning the toilets. The festival was also made possible by the generous support of many people and associations! First and foremost Zuko e.V., which took over the sponsorship of this festival after the Trallafitti Festival. We would also like to thank the many private donors and professional helpers, who only received a small allowance.
Festival Workshops 2022
The body sings (Voice and Movement Improvisation/Research) (Dutch, English) (Intensiv-workshop)
Ciska Ruitenberg (Netherlands)
Singing is an important way for us humans to express our inner world, When we sing we are not just singing heads but our whole body is involved. Our voices resonate within and outside our bodies. When we listen we allow ourselves to be moved.In this workshop we take our voices out for an adventure guided by our senses. We explore in what way movement influences the voice and how the voice moves to the body. No special skills are needed, everybody can join, everybody can do it. Together we provide a safe space to experiment and enjoy ourselves. Ciska Ruitenberg is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and vocal coach based in the Netherlands. She graduated at the conservatory in jazz singing. As a vocal coach and musician she is very much inspired by the sensoric approach of the Lichtenberger Method. Her roots lie in therapy forms such as Chi Kung.
Improvising with the whole space — and your whole self! (JamJam-Introduction) (English) (Intensiv-workshop)
Bryce Kasson (USA, currently in Cologne)
Bryce Kasson (USA/D) is a dance improvisor, clown and musician. He has been researching, teaching and performing Contact Improvisation and Tuning Scores for over 25 years. Both practices are fundamental to his dance / improvisation work. He has taught them to professional dancers, contact improvisors, actors and clowns at festivals and workshops in Europe, USA and Argentina. He translates his creative knowledge to the field of therapy on events like the Sommerakademie in Witten. He is also, with Olivia Platzer, one half of the clown duo Fort Willy.
“In my labs I will offer methods, scores, tricks and tips for taking the material you are working with during the intensives and integrating it into play in the evening jams. I will also offer some possibilities to the jam space as a whole, for it to wake up to itself, and for all of us inside it to wake up to one another.”
Sensing Sound (Voice and Movement Improvisation/Research) (English, German) (Intensiv-workshop)
Elise Tolan (USA, currently in Bochum)
For all bodies and voices. This is a space to experiment with the potential of vocal sound from a place of embodied awareness, perceptual play, and creative inquiry, beyond what is considered an ideal sound or movement. The classes may include elements of Somatic Voice and Movement (VMI), Deep Listening, and Instant Composition, in presence with what is seen, felt, heard, and imagined.
Elise Tolan is a dance therapist and multi-disciplinary artist who gravitated towards the somatic approach to voice after 10 years of studying Indian Classical Vocal Music. Her work is predominantly concerned with reflective processes of embodied inquiry, informed by environmental influences and her teachers Moeno Wakamatsu, Meredith Monk, and Patricia Bardi.
In the workshop “Friede Freude Pustekuchen” participants will try out improvisational forms of playing in a small groups and deepen their musical-communicative spectrum of expression. Mastery of an instrument is welcome, but not required. Leonie Mayer is a violinist and singer, improvisation teacher and music therapist. Her performative focus is on improvising and composing music in connection with dance and movement theatre.
Stéphani Auberville (France, currently in Brussels)
A jam is a place where we explore and play with companions, but sometimes it’s not so easy to enter or end a dance. Many things, thoughts, and social patterns can interact and disturb us. It’s not always a question of dance skills or experience. In this class, we will focus on the passage from dancing with touch to non-touch and vice versa. How can we manage the transitions of connection? How can we play/trick with our sense of continuities or discontinuities to develop dances in solo, duet, or group forms? This class works based on inner and outer perceptions, it also proposes games and inner scores. It aims on developing a sense of jam by exploring together, on opening the door of playing with the unknown and escaping patterns, integrating all people’s needs. This class is suitable for beginners and experienced people, for all who wish to dive into explorations of touch and sharing weight.”How can I answer my surroundings with the dance?“ This sentence guided Stéphanie Auberville along her career as a dancer, improvisor and choreographer. Since the early ’90s, she has been involved in the practice of improvisation. She met teachers such as Lisa Nelson, Nancy Stark Smith, Nita Little, Deborah Hay, and Simone Forti. Stephanie has been teaching CI and improvisation since 2003, in weekly classes and workshops.
Becoming & unbecoming(Physical Theatre and body research) (English, German) (Intensiv-workshop)
Marc Carrera (Spain/Catalonia, currently in Berlin)
The aim is to experience through sensitivity the expressive possibilities of our body. The expression goes in two directions: outwards and inwards, as we can become spectators of ourselves. Deep playfulness and playful depth. The domain of physical theatre is interdisciplinary (dance, butoh, viewpoints, etc.) and broad enough to encompass inner exploration, game, collective flow, and composition in physical or non-physical spaces.Marc Carrera is a choreographer and physical theatre artist working in the Freie Szene in Berlin and Hamburg. He studied Philosophy at the University of Barcelona and holds a MA in Performance Studies from the Universität Hamburg. With Das Kollaktiv he has been directing the Physical Theatre course in Berlin since 2017 without interruptio
Voicing Moving Needs & Boundaries (Voice and movement, improvisation/research Stimme und Bewegung) (German/English) (Intensive Workshop)
Sofia Liebermann (CH/SE/D, currently in Bern)
In this intensive, through somatic approaches and improvisational methods, you will be invited to explore the membrane of you as an individual cell, so to speak, within the membrane of us as a collective cell, through the expression and impression of your own voice, sonority and movement. We explore in detail specifically the experiential ”soundness” within us and in the given space (which may be outside any norms or aesthetics), train to recognize/listen, communicate and honor our and others’ boundaries in contact, and practice self- responsible pursuit of our own needs (for the good of all, including the art itself). With a sharpened somatic understanding of these phenomena of YES and NO, we then move more and more from organically arising, playful encounters into conscious co- creation of musical & moving compositions. No previous experience necessary, you are and already have everything you need.
“Use the spectrum!” (Physical Improvisation and Storytelling) (German, English) (Intensiv-Workshop)
Tabea Gregory (Germany, currently in Heidelberg)
By activating the senses, connecting to your interior world, your inner child and imagination we will embark onto the endless sea of stories. You will experience the relationship between attention, awareness and action. You engage the mind and heart simultaneously, building improvisational skills, and uncovering another sense of play. Let’s tell all the stories that are out there to be told: With our bodies, voices and words.
topics we may work on:
developing frames, active stillness, monologue and dialogue, collaborative development, separating & combining language, movement & voice.
Tabea Gregory lives as a performing artist and yoga teacher in Essen. Internationally trained in Action, Improv, Social Presencing Theater as well as Contemporary Dance. In her own pieces she loves to create poetic stories with language, movement and sound. Her mission is to increase awareness through artistic practice. She teaches through awakening the senses and supports to trust the body and its impulses.
Soundtechnic und electronic musik-improvisation (open-workshop)
Denis Altschul (Brazil, currently in Berlin)
Apart from creating sound landscapes for theatre pieces, dance performances, and artistic installations, 2018-2019 Denis Altschul was also resident at PLAYGROUND a weekly dance improvisation session at Berlin contemporary dance school Marameo. There will be no Intensive Workshop by Dennis but probably some smaller Workshop, if people are intersted.
Contact Improvisation PURE (German/English) (open-workshop)
Nadja Schwarzenbach (Germany, currently in Freiburg)
In these classes we are going to dive into a few principles of Contact Improvisation (CI) that I consider essential and as a base for happiness in dancing CI.A good, juicy and alive center to center connection is one of them and can be heaven, so let’s explore it together!Another one is having options on how to get in and out of full weight and in and out of touch with ease.Leaning, falling and bridging into each other is a third principle we will explore. That one gets us traveling in space and levels without losing each other physically.We will be getting into our listening qualities, to weight shifts and subtle changes in body tone in ourselves and the person we are moving with, while staying connected to our dance partners. We let sensation tell us where to move next. Softening the mind and the body and finding support and strength helps to connect while moving together. And makes me more ready to adapt quickly to the possibilities of the moment and having choices.
Mark Nowakowski (Germany, Berlin) is a dancer, instrumentalist, and ethnomusicologist based in Berlin. He teaches Body Percussion to people of all ages and enjoys simplicity and the basics.
Workshop Let’s discover our bodies’ sounds and groove together! From head to toe, from toe to head we will explore sounds, rhythms, beats, off-beats, and much more. Body Percussion is a basal approach to music that requires no special equipment, no preparation, no particular skills. We can instantly dive into the joy of making music together, feel the groove, be our own instrument, experience time, and relax into the group.
Workshop Move the Groove – Body Percussion into Movement In dancing we often strive for light, smooth, and somewhat soundless moves. What happens if we not only allow but actively invite and include sounds in our movements thereby utilizing our own bodies, the floor, the walls, our partners and other bodies? How can we connect to the space and to the whole group through a commonly felt and shared pulse? How may sound enrich our dances, how can we merge the groove with our movements so something new may evolve? How does it feel to make ourselves not only visible but also audible – or vice versa – and play and improvise with both elements at the same time? Curious? Let’s try it out together!
Immerse yourself in the silent and deep power of our hearts. Together in a circle. Klaus invites us with his compositions into the presence of our essence. His music touches the soul, opens a space in which silence becomes audible.
Kundalini Yoga (morning program) (German/English)
Franka Gauss (Germany, currently in Witten)
Start the day by connecting with yourself. Awaken and revitalize your whole body. Kundalini Yoga centers you, gives you clarity and spaciousness.