NJ Blog - Becky Moore

New Jammers Participant Blog.

Entry 3 - 21/6/15

The final New Jammer's Jam was one of the highlights of the programme for me, getting to co-facilitate the warm-up with the seven other jammers, was a really exciting experience and really meant we had to all tap into listening to each other and trust that we could improvise on the spot, it was a great example of the New Jammers programme and all that we had learnt during this put into action, putting key aspects of facilitating a warm up together into the room, we all had to be able to let go, and be resourceful and think of what was needed collectively, it was a great to see this put into action and for us to be able to work together so effortlessly and intuitively.

In particular getting to lead our own warm ups to each other during the programme, was a real turning point in overcoming a fear I had, this chance to challenge myself, and offer something to the space, to test out my ideas, put them into practice without having to worry about if it was right or wrong, and to receive constructive and supportive feedback from the group gave me the confidence i needed to contribute more to the group and allowed my voice to grow as a facilitator.

Learning about the underscore, getting some contextual knowledge was really important to grounding our research and to apply this practically with the following Jam, this helped me define a clearer line of enquiry for the continuing programme.

I feel that this opportunity to be a New Jammer has helped me find a clearer voice as a facilitator. It has helped me gain a better understanding of the role of facilitation and how this has informed my practice as a dancer, teacher and CI practitioner, and the relationship I have to this.

I think the NJ programme has given us all the momentum to start our own projects leaving a space for us to continue this type of collaborative practice, investigating CI further and expanding it's presence in and around Glasgow and work effectively as piers to one another.

I hope that we continue the mix between finding space to investigate our own movement practice with time that focuses more on contextual research and the different roles we take on as facilitators and teachers of CI, as one vitally informs the other.


Entry 2 - 7/6/15

So we are coming to the end of the New Jammers programme and it has been an insightful last few months. I've met some incredible people and had the chance to learn from them and offer my own ideas also. Each session helped me enquire further into the role of a facilitator and the relationship I had to this. We are now seeing the beginning of some exciting projects and collaborations between the New Jammers that have developed as a result of this programme.

In the last two meetings we each had time to facilitate our own warm up with the New Jammers. This was a chance for us to all combine our own specialisms with our knowledge of contact improvisation and facilitation.

Each New Jammer's warm up was unique and full of surprising perspectives. It reiterated for me the diversity that Contact Improvisation allows for, with each teacher/facilitator having their own unique approach and every jammer finding their own connection to the movement form.

Together through each warm up we explored a wide variety of ideas; from using vision and physical contact, to drawing/ external material as impetus for moving and orienteering yourself within a present space. Developing on from previously exploring Nancy Stark Smith's underscore, we explored our Skinesphere and overlapping our Kinesphere. How we could expand and shrink space as a group, making good use of the internal and external environments. We explored the relationship between those who are giving touch to those who might be receiving this, connecting this to observation and touch. We looked at themed warm ups, using water, with rocking and touch, and how flow and fluidity can create a chain-effect throughout the whole group.

With every New Jammer's warm up we then offered mentorship to each other, helping us all reflect on our own warm ups, and to think about how we could develop on from this. This allowed for our role as mentors to each other to grow, as well as our own critical thinking skills.

Having the time to experiment within these warm ups, helped me really focus on developing my individual interest in Contact and improvisation and develop a clearer idea of the kind of role I want have within the context of contact improvisation and my identity as a facilitator. It was also important what came before and after each meeting, we had previously explored Nancy Stark Smith's Underscore, which you could then see fed into our individual warm-ups following this.

Each meeting I felt like the space had been held by Penny Chivas in a way that gave me more of an in-depth contextual understanding of Contact Improvisation, and the practice of facilitating as well as being able to practically apply this, with each meeting including movement and jamming.

Tom Pritchard also gave us mentoring, helping us create our own spider diagrams which really helped with focusing all of this learning and mapping out our own journeys. Writing has become an important part of my practice, and helps to clarify my thoughts.

As I lead more and more jams I learn about what does and doesn't work, each time the meaning of holding, facilitating, becomes clearer, there is so much to something that requires you to do so little.

I feel more confident in facilitating and have a clearer understanding of this role and it's context as a result of being a New Jammer. I feel more able to take ownership of the connection I have to Contact Improvisation and go on to facilitate more jams understanding the role I am taking in this, as well as being a more active participant.

Thankyou to my New Jammer peers and Penny Chivas and Tom Pritchard xx


Spider diagram exercise: 23rd May 2015

Following a mentoring session with Tom, all New Jammers were asked to complete the exercise below as a way to focus and articulate their interests and enquiries.

Entry 1 - 12th March 2015

Multidisciplinary Jamming

The role of a visual artist within the jam: How this differs to that of a musician, and what impact you make upon the space, seemingly a private experience or an outsider eye.

Looking into how CI jams first started and how they developed the practice. A lot of their jams were filmed and they would watch them back in order to understand what was at play, in terms of finding space for the observing eye in jams. Realising how important observation is has started off an enquiry for me into looking further into this relationship. 

Also coming from a  visual arts background as well as dance I would like to find a bridge between these two roles.

We had a lovely word that a new jammer created 'WITHNESSING' instead of witnessing, I am thinking of this a lot in terms of jamming as a participant, and as a facilitator.

Being in it

Having new facilitators come together and discuss their ideas/experiences and understanding of what it is we do was really helpful. I identified with a lot of other peoples' experiences. Questions came up over what it means to hold the space and what the balance is between giving people an experience and guiding people through one, whilst also maintaining a sense of yourself and energy.

After our first meeting, I hope the generosity of sharing and listening and the diversity of experience and enthusiasm for questioning we all bring into the space will continue into the next session.