Pam Johnson photo

Pam Johnson Biography

2006 Ottawa - Ontario Regional Contact Improv Jam

Pam Johnson Workshop - Sunday morning April 16, 2006

PAM JOHNSON has been dancing, choreographing and teaching in Toronto for 25 years. She has performed for many choreographers and presented her own choreography across Canada. She also works in theatre, film, television and opera. Pam specializes in performing and teaching Contact Improvisation. She is co-artistic director of the Festival Of Interactive Physics and a facilitator of the North by Northeast Contact Network. She can be found most Sundays practicing at the 30 year old Toronto Sunday Contact Jam .

Contact Improvisation

Contact improvisation is a dance with gravity, momentum, and everything else that is happening in the moment, including the physical and energetic contact the dance-partners share. It is a whole-body study in the subtle art of non-verbal collaboration and co-creation. Often a meditative practice, improvisation is done without music, to allow space to tune into what is happening and the moment-to-moment impulses of the body.

"A typical CI session begins with a moment of being present with oneself, during which the participant engages with the floor and with his or her body. I stretch, I yawn, I pay attention to my breath, to my mass, to my feelings, to the environment around me. Then, somewhere nearby, the presence of another takes form, which I perceive first as a vibration, then as light pressure somewhere on my body. This is the point of contact, where pressure fluctuates, changes, and impacts the duet. I let go of balance and I feel myself fall into fluidity, arcing over my partner to meet the ground. The liberty I feel comes from responsibility. By acting slowly, a quiet strength allows me to face any surprises or emergencies. The dance has begun."

An invitation to let go in an oasis of peace.

The "Contact Jam" is an invitation to practice improvising in contact with others, oneself, and the environment.

Discover and practice the science and playground that is Contact Improvisation. Strengthen your body, open your mind and awaken your instincts. Explore sensory and physical experiments of shared touch, weight, gravity and momentum and expand into three-dimensional space, spontaneous composition, trust and risk. Engage in scores and open dancing and experience serious play - matching wits and methods, sharing common ground and sudden miracles - by surrendering to and shaping the dance in the moment. Be ready for joint creations with formal and open structures and games, scores and scenarios ranging from the whimsical to poetic, cooperative to aggressive, simple to complex. (Knee pads are recommended.)

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