CounterPULSE Contact Improvisation Jam and Class
The CounterPULSE Contact Improvisation (CI) jam and class take place every Tuesday year-round at CounterPULSE. The class is taught by a different Bay Area CI teacher each month, and is geared towards contact improvisers of all experience levels. Taking the class helps you build your own physical vocabulary, and acquire a skill set that enables you to really investigate and improvise within the form. If you are new to CI, the pre-jam class will help you feel more confident when entering the jam. Drop-ins welcome!
What is Contact Improvisation?
Contact Improvisation is an evolving system of movement initiated in 1972 by American choreographer Steve Paxton. The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner.
Contact improvisations are spontaneous physical dialogues that range from stillness to highly energetic exchanges. Alertness is developed in order to work in an energetic state of physical disorientation, trusting in one’s basic survival instincts. It is a free play with balance, self-correcting the wrong moves and reinforcing the right ones, bringing forth a physical/emotional truth about a shared moment of movement that leaves the participants informed, centered, and enlivened.
—definition by Steve Paxton and others,
from Contact Quarterly Vol. 5:1, Fall 1979
Beginning–Intermediate Contact Improvisation
TUE, 6:30-8:00pm $15 drop-in, or $18 and stay for the Jam
The class is taught by a different Bay Area CI teacher each month, and is geared towards contact improvisers of all experience levels. Taking the class helps you build your own physical vocabulary, and acquire a skill set that enables you to really investigate and improvise within the form. If you are new to CI, the pre-jam class will help you feel more confident when entering the jam. Drop-ins welcome!
CounterPULSE Contact Improvisation Jam
TUE, 8:00-11:30pm $5
San Francisco’s longest-running Contact Improvisation jam was started at 848 Divisadero in 1993, and has been supported by many different jam hosts during its vibrant and eventful life. It is a quiet, no-music jam. However, acoustic musicians are welcome to ask the group to play for a portion of a jam. If you are new to Contact Improvisation, it is helpful to take a class before attending the jam. If you have questions about how to participate during Jam, please ask at the registration table during the event, the jam hosts are happy to help.
Contact Improvisation Class Series Teacher List
January: Katarina Eriksson
February: Stuart Phillips
March: Miriam Wolodarski
April: Krista DeNio
May: Leslie Castellano
June: Utam Moses
July: Ralf Jaroschinski
August: Rene Alvarez
September: Ronja Ver
October: Aaron Jessup
November: Carol Swann
December: Carmen Serber and Rajendra Serber
Hatha Yoga at CounterPULSE
WED, 8:30-9:30AM by donation, BYOM (bring your own mat)
CounterPULSE is excited to begin holding weekly donation-based Hatha yoga classes every Wednesday from 8:30-9:30am. Led by Erin McElroy (RYT) and with thematic assistance from Carla Wojczuk, classes will be multi-level, and will incorporate anti-oppression frameworks. Based on principles of non-violence, presence, and mindfulness, we’ll warm up your bodies, hearts, and minds, and all that energy that lives in between! Come join us in decolonizing yoga, one morning at a time!
Whether you’ve been part of our weekly yoga classes, or whether you’ve long been desiring to think linkages between yoga, colonial histories, and cultural appropriation, come join our monthly working group to participate in problematizing and decolonizing Western yoga. We will engage conversations about yoga’s colonial history and cultural appropriation in settler liberalism, while utilizing anti-oppression based dialogic frameworks.
Yoga Teacher Bios
Erin McElroy received their 200-hour RYT training from San Francisco’s Yoga Tree, studying with Darren Main, Darcy Lyon, Harvey Deutsch, Chrisandra Fox-Walker, and Elise Lorimer. Erin is currently being mentored by Sean Haleen while continuing their 500-hour RYT training. Erin has a MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology, and spends much of their time off the mat engaged in anti-eviction direct action and scholarship. A firm advocate for utilizing principles learned in yogic practice to invoke the work of social justice, Erin is excited to at the same time bring political radness into the yoga studio, creating spaces where difference is welcomed and where oppression is not reproduced.
Carla Wojczuk is a community-based artist and educator. Most of Carla’s present time is dedicated to participatory action research on These Walls Speak: Balmy Alley and Living Legacies of Community Mural Movement, a multi-disciplinary effective-history film and organizing project. Carla has been training and directing physical theater practices since 2006 and has a MA in Social Justice Education with foci on arts and social justice, curriculum development and facilitation, and inter-group dialogue.