East Coast Contact Improv Jam
Our Jam is a Collaboration Among Peers – Much Like a Dance
Warmups, workshops, performances, and other structures are initiated and lead by participants - jammers. We all gather for a daily "town meeting" to discuss and schedule whatever needs discussion and scheduling, introduce new arrivals, and generally connect as a group. Jam participation includes a one-hour community work shift, doing a chore that helps the place run well. A few jammers are responsible for organizing the logistics before and during the event and facilitating the community meetings, but it is up to all the jammers to shape and make things happen
Open jamming is our primary focus. Other activities typically include an Underscore, and may include jammer-initiated Authentic Movement sessions, round robins, volunteer-taught beginning Contact Improv classes, improv structures, group discussions, improvisation scores indoors and out, and so on.
All Experience Levels Welcome, but the Jam is different From a Class
While we welcome all experience levels, the jam is not a class. If you are looking for a guided introduction, this might not be the place. We encourage you to use your best judgment.
We welcome kids but need to know that their parents or other accountable guardians will be responsible for their supervision. Kids 11 and younger get a discount on meals and accommodations.
Contact Improvisation (CI)
CI is a kind of game or dance where people explore moving cooperatively, mutually organizing themselves around shared points of physical contact. In practice, CI is one of the best-known forms of postmodern dance, as well as a basis for dance gatherings: jams. See the Wikipedia CI entry for more.
On This Page
Rejuvenation of Our Dance Floor
In 2017, after 30 years of gathering at Claymont, we recognized that the much-patched primary dance floor was worn beyond repair. Our host, the Claymont Society for Continuous Education, is a non-profit educational organization and community, without sufficient resources to completely fund the replacement, so we spearheaded an effort to raise funds and members of our community organized construction of a new floor. The new floor is terrific!
Special thanks all who helped with its construction!
Contact Improvisation is based around mutual cooperation rather than control. To work well it depends on mutual respect for one another's boundaries. Respecting Boundaries describes this core principle - please read it, to help foster a safe jam!
Claymont Court Retreat Center
The jam happens at Claymont Court Seminars and Retreat Center near Charles Town, West Virginia. Claymont Court is an almost 200-year-old estate featuring around 350 acres of woods, fields, farmland, and a Georgian-style mansion where the jam group resides. Near Harper's Ferry W.Va, it's about a 95-minute (65 mile) drive from Washington, DC. It offers an idyllic rural gathering in which to explore, dance, create and find new inspirations for movement and growth.
Claymont is available as a retreat center through the efforts of residents who are part of the evolving Claymont Society for Continuous Education. The society was founded by J.G. Bennett in the spirit of G.I. Gurdjieff's teachings, and the people are friendly, like-minded hosts for the East Coast Jam, with several members of their community participating over the years.
Address: Claymont Society Claymont Court Mansion Charles Town, WV 25414 - the specific location is the Claymont Mansion, where we reside during the jam. The primary dance space is a 1⁄2 mile countryside walk from the residence.
Claymont does not allow pets. Service animals are permitted.
Enroll in the ECJ Announcements Mailing List
Get emails for registration openings, special events and East Coast Jam developments.