Contact Improvisation

Contact Improvisation

One of two definitions offered on the Contact Quarterly website :

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.

Trinidad Martinez writes a brief description of Contact Improvisation as part of a special workshop she taught to Aikidoists in Seattle:

“Contact improvisation begins with a point of contact and listening. It explores elements like weight, time, space, connection with the others, etc.; and keeps adding as far as your imagination, senses and intuition want to go. Specific exercises break down specific ideas but once you understand a few basic tools there is no end to the exploration. Always new paths, curiosities, interests. We encourage you to dive into the world of improvisation even if it is just once. There are no fears, no judgments, no pretensions, just being there, in the moment.”

Learn more about Contact Improvisation…

Read about Mindful-Based Improvisation created by Scott Kelman:

Find classes and “jams” to particpate in:

Ongoing classes and jams in Portland Oregon:


Video of a contact improv performance piece at Conduit:

Soma Space:

Gracewood Studios in NE Portland, Saturday afternoons

You Tube Video of a jam at Gracewood Studios:

updates on PDXCI:


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