Dance, Movement, and CI Events in Ottawa/Gatineau

Contact Improv Home Page for Ottawa/Gatineau

Updated November 05 2020 – Mis à jour le 05 novembre 2020

Ian! D. Allen Let’s Dance Ian!!

The best way to read this message is using the Newsletter Web Version that is updated mid-week. Click on your favourite events in the Table of Contents. – Ian! D. Allen

Local News:

  1. Avoid Pandemic Panic this winter by thinking like a Norwegian:

  2. There are no official Friday Strathcona Park events scheduled due to the increase in infection risk in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. See Ottawa Public Health. Some people may gather informally around 3:15pm with frisbees.

  3. There are some other outdoor in-person dance/movement events happening in the region. Check out the links below.

  4. Ottawa Public Health says be W.I.S.E.:

  5. The links to images on the facebook may be broken in this newsletter. They must have changed their policy on access, so at some point I’ll have to go through the newsletter and delete all the facebook references. Event organizers: please ensure you have a non-facebook web site with images to which I can link for your event.

CI Dancers at the Ottawa CI dance jam: Ken, Kia, Isabelle, Barbara, AnneMarie, Ian, Marcia

Dance News for  Ian! D. Allen

Click on your favourite events in the Table of Contents above or use the web version.
(Outlook/Evolution email users – sorry, clicking above doesn’t work; use the web version.)
See also the Creative Dance and Movement Ottawa/Gatineau group on facebook.
See also the Contact Improvisation Dance Ottawa/Gatineau group on facebook.

Dancers who pursue graceful movement must practice being aware of their bodies and being aware of wordless communication. These skills are particularly important today, when we spend so much time sitting and in virtual realities. Our way of life has taken us further from our own physical experiences and the understanding of the wordless emotional messages of others. For example, contact improvisation makes the dancers listen attentively to the body of their partner. Touch is known to reduce pain, fear and anxiety. – Hanna Poikonen

—– Events near Ottawa/Gatineau/Wakefield/Lanark/CarletonPlace —–

Events in the local Ottawa/Gatineau/Wakefield/Lanark/CarletonPlace Region

Events that recur weekly or monthly show only the nearest upcoming event or two. Follow the link for future events.

Fridays at 3:15pm to 4:45pm – CANCELLED Movement Together in Strathcona Park

There are no official Friday Strathcona Park events scheduled due to the increase in infection risk in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. See Ottawa Public Health.

Some people may gather informally around 3:15pm with frisbees.

Sundays at 10:15am – Dance to Nature (outdoors) with Alana

See the Dance to Nature group on the facebook or contact Alana O’Donnell for more information.

— Events in 2021 —

The events in this section happen next year.

Global: June 2021 – The Global Underscore CI Dance Jam

The Global Underscore long-form Contact Improv Dance Jam takes place for four hours simultaneously, world-wide in June in 2021. (Contact the organizers for the date.) Follow the link for a location near you. We have no Underscore practice in Ottawa, alas, but we might have a regular dance jam on Saturday and you can find events in other communities on the facebook Global Underscore page.

The Underscore is a long-form dance improvisation structure developed by Nancy Stark Smith. It has been evolving since 1990 and is practiced all over the globe.

The Underscore is a vehicle for incorporating Contact Improvisation into a broader arena of improvisational dance practice; for developing greater ease dancing in spherical space—alone and with others; and for integrating kinesthetic and compositional concerns while improvising. It allows for a full spectrum of energetic and physical expressions, embodying a range of forms and changing states. Its practice is familiar yet unpredictable.

The practice—usually 3 to 4 hours in length—progresses through a broad range of dynamic states, including long periods of very small, private, and quiet internal activity and other times of higher energy and interactive dancing.

—– Events Outside Ottawa/Gatineau/Wakefield/Lanark/CarletonPlace —–

Events outside the local Ottawa/Gatineau/Wakefield/Lanark/CarletonPlace Region

Online: 9am Saturday November 21 – Dance New England Virtual Event

You are cordially invited to DNE’s Virtual One Day event! We know you have been aching for more opportunities to get together. This is your chance. There will be classes, I-Opener, dancing to our amazing DJ’s at night, and of course the “Dining Hall!”

What: A one-day virtual event (OK, 28 hours)
When: 9am Saturday November 21 - 1pm Sunday November 22!
Where: Zooooom!
Why: We love being together!
Who: All of us!

More details to come soon. We encourage you to save the date on your calendar and invite friends!

Peace and Community,

Michael Swerdloff
Volunteer Coordinator, Dance New England

Online: Five weekly evenings starting November 3 or November 8 – ReMix: online writing and movement

ReMix 1 and 2

This workshop is for dancers who didn’t know they could write, writers who didn’t know they could dance, and the generally curious who are open to unfolding.

One participant describes ReMix in terms of a “creative colaboratory.” I’m really excited by this online work. It offers deep presence and insight, as well as pragmatic techniques for unseating habits of (or blocks to) apprehension and creativity. Using the core movement resources from Open Floor’s movement curriculum, the exercises developed for ReMix build creative and emotional intelligence through basic embodied practices. All of this weaves into a beautiful dance of unfolding, building, and exploring of meaning and meaninglessness in the spaces between: the inter-media of technology, language, and communication. I really hope you can join me in this play of being and becoming. The two halves of ReMix, 1 and 2, are running back to back, taking us right to December, and I’m offering a 10% discount at check out to anyone signing up for the whole ten weeks.

Each five-week series is a closed group capped at 16 participants.

What’s in the ReMix? Physical movement loosens rigidity and tightness, and thus supports creativity and inspiration. Participants are surprised at the prolific material and available depth that emerge in this combination. I am fascinated by both emergent meaning and story. My approach for these series is grounded in select theories of language, meaning, and psychoanalysis. While I share that material, the intellectual dive is not necessary to what we do in the class. We will explore language at the level of sensation both separate from, and as well as, at the levels of sense and meaning. Our words reinvest and support physical exploration. In the mix, we both develop and differentiate story from sensation, one of the four fundamental differentiations that support and enable mindful presence.

Together, we will explore:

We cover each topic over the course of two classes: the first is based in exploration and includes homework during the week; the second revisits the material through sharing and, at times, extending the previous week’s homework work. Each topic is balanced between writing and sharing on the one hand, and moving on the other. In every class, expect time to arrive, and time to warm up physically and creatively. We do a movement exercise and a writing exercise, with time to settle the exploration, and then continue each practice during the week with a small amount of homework.

ReMix conforms to Open Floor International’s Art in Motion stream. Our aim is to build both emotional and creative intelligence through a combination of movement and writing. We engage with process as well as product in order to move with the mover, the maker, the editor, and the inner critic.

Contact Majero Bouman

Montréal QC: CANCELLED – Montréal International Contact Improv Jam

No Montreal Jam this year. Maybe next year?

Montréal International Contact Improv Dance Jam The 38th Annual Montréal International Contact Improv Jam may take place some time in late 2021. Nearly 200 dancers participate from across Canada and the USA.

Contact the organizers for the exact date of the CI dance jam.

The ACI’s most prized event: Montréal’s Annual Contact Improvisation Dance Jam. This annual dance jam usually takes place in November, and is jam-packed with great warm-ups and a beginner class, lots of open jamming, great food, a show and dance. Don’t miss it!!

Please bring your own re-usable mug, cutlery, and dishes, if possible.

Toronto ON: POSTPONED – 5Rhythms: God Sex Body with Alex Mackay

This event has been postponed.

— Events in 2021 —

The events in this section may happen in 2021. Check back closer to the event

Massachusetts USA: August 4 2021 – DNE Summer Dance Camp

“Assuming there is camp, for the next couple of years it is starting on the first Wednesday in August.” – Michael Swerdloff

Enjoy dance, movement, and community at the The Dance New England annual Summer Dance Camp. in Massachusetts in August 2021. See the previous 2019 Camp Schedule to see the kind of workshops that may take place in the 2021 camp. Child and family friendly; free child care available much of the day. (This location is only partially wheelchair accessible.)

Dance New England (DNE) is a creative collective of individuals who love to dance, as well as a consortium of cooperatively-run, not-for-profit freestyle barefoot dances in the New England area. DNE members are also actively involved in creating and running other freestyle barefoot, cooperative dances in New England and elsewhere. DNE events include our annual summer camp, and a few weekends throughout the year hosted and produced by our member dances.

—– Recurring Events Outside Ottawa/Gatineau/Wakefield/Lanark/CarletonPlace

Recurring Events outside the local Ottawa/Gatineau/Wakefield/Lanark/CarletonPlace Region

I don’t know if these events are now happening online. Contact the organizers.

Picton ON: Barefoot Free Form Dance

Groove Tonic PEC hosts a weekly barefoot, free-form movement and dance event in Picton.

We meet every Wednesday evening from 7–9:00 pm for barefoot, free-form movement and and dance. All are welcome! Wear comfortable clothing, bring water to keep hydrated and a $5 donation to cover the cost of the space. Groove Tonic happens at the Picton Town Hall, 2nd floor above the old firehall (2 Ross St, at King St).

Peterborough ON: Contact Improvisation and other Dance

Peterborough Dance Contact Arsalan Ahmad for details on what’s happening around Contact Improvisation Dance in Peterborough, Ontario. (For wheelchair and washroom accessibility information, contact Arsalan.)

For other Peterborough dance events, e.g. Ecstatic Dance, see Dance Your Bones

DYB’s purpose is to offer an Ecstatic Dance movement practice in an accessible, respectful and safe environment.

Each Thursday evening, we dance together in a beautiful church hall for 90 minutes without interruption. The music varies weekly depending on the dj. We try to use an interesting blend of world music, pop, blues and even classical.

Montréal QC: Biodanza Classes with Catherine Fabiola Lessard

Catherine Lessard Dance and celebrate – Danser, se rassembler, célébrer, s’émerveiller …

Classes in Biodanza and Authentic Movement in and near Montréal with Catherine Fabiola Lessard

Montréal QC: Authentic Movement with Catherine Fabiola Lessard

Catherine Lessard Dance and celebrate – Danser, se rassembler, célébrer, s’émerveiller …

Classes in Biodanza and Authentic Movement in and near Montréal with Catherine Fabiola Lessard

Montréal QC: Weekly 5Rhythms Classes with Erik Iversen

5Rhythms Dance Freeing the Creative Spirit Teaching people to experience the pulsating sensual energy inside them and awakening their connection to flowing breath, rooted feet and a centered alive pelvis – reach up, root down, live in the heart center. Visit or or contact Erik Iversen for more information. (For wheelchair and washroom accessibility information, contact Erik.)

Montréal QC: Weekly 5Rhythms Classes with Lynne Adams

5Rhythms Dance Dance a weekly Thursday night 5Rhythms class with Lynne Adams in Montréal. (For wheelchair and washroom accessibility information, contact Lynne.)

Montréal QC: Ecstatic Dances

Soirée danse Extatique

Québec QC: Contact Improvisation, Communauté de Québec

Contact Improvisation de la ville de Québec

Bienvenue à tous. Les jams de Contact improvisation seront annoncés dans le groupe par le biais d’évènements. Consultez la publication épinglée pour plus d’information.

Sherbrooke QC: Biodanza with Yves Léger

Classes are facilitated in French (with possible English translation on request): Biodanza Sherbrooke: français and Sherbrook Biodanza: English


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Contact Improv Dance Jam at Earthdance – Ian! and Eva, photo by John Barrett