Welcome to the

Blackforestjam for Contact Improvisation





The Blackforestjam was an annual dance event, that took place end of May, beginning of June in the boarding school of Birklehof, Blackforest, Germany from 1996 to 2005.
For 2,3 or 4 days contact dancers from all over the world came together to share the dance, explore the form Contact Improvisation physically as well as in organized labs, discussions or informal talks. It has always been a nice opportunity to meet familiar people, friends and other contact dancers.
The heart of the jam was a huge gym hall with about 15 X 25 meters, enough space for 120 dancers. Here we met all day to celebrate the dance, from time to time supported by improvised live music.
For bodywork at daytime and sleeping at night there was a smaller studio downstairs.
Children were welcome, their parents organized the care.
Vegetarian food was offered during the whole period.
A huge green area with hills and sports field, fireplace, cows and a small river invited outdoor activities and gave space for camping.
The Birklehof area is in the middle of the black forest.

What is Contact Improvisation?
…a dance form working through touch, sharing weight, listening and responding to the movement impulses and the physical forces. The partners have equal rights and are responsible for themselves. The form itself is very open, you can move on the floor or fly through the air.

What is a contact jam?
…an open structured meeting to share this improvisational dance form

The concept of the Blackforestjam

With this jam we wanted to create a container of openness, safety and trust to share and explore the dance form Contact Improvisation during the days of the meeting.

- the participants were asked to stay the whole time if possible

- in the main space we focused on the dance form Contact Improvisation-we offered structures (warm up and down, round robins, labs, …) to more easily connect and find into the dance in the big group. There was also enough open space to explore the individual dance and communication.

- dancers with at least a basic experience in this dance form were welcome

- we wanted to generate a hand full of qualities, like: mindfulness, responsibility, playfulness, commitment and generosity in the dance as well as in all day situations

Ines Heckmann

More about the Blackforestjam history here

©blackforestjam januar 2005