About the Moab Jam

Mission Statement

The Moab Jam is an annual event celebrating Contact Improvisation through study, jamming, community, and the inspiration of nature. We aim to create an environment which supports focused exploration of CI in a rich artistic container with dancers from all over the world. Friendships and community deepens in this extraordinary jam where you are part of creating and enjoying the jam that you want.

"The Moab Jam is an honor to organize. Each year I am inspired by the power of community, the passion of excellent teachers, the enduring enchantment of CI, and the loveliness of the red rock canyons." -- Gretchen Spiro
 

 
Organizers' Biographies

Gretchen Spiro is a dancer, yoga instructor, Gyrotonic® trainer, and somatic psychotherapist from Boulder CO. With a BFA in dance from Cal Arts and an MA in Dance Therapy from Naropa, she works with the parallel between the therapeutic and the artistic. She discovered Contact Improvisation in 1983, and is the founder of Tumblebones Dance Collective. She is passionate about the exploration of CI as a physical/interpersonal/spiritual practice -- it unfolds for her over the years in surprisingly rich and unexpected ways. Gretchen was an organize of CI36, and has taught at the West Coast CI Festival, Earthdance, Seattle CI Festival, Aerial Dance Festival, and others.  In 2015 she is one of the intensive teachers at Contact Festival Freiburg, in Freiburg Germany. She has organized the Moab Jam since 2004, and loves to witness the friendships, deep focused dancing, and nourishing time in nature that happens at the Moab Workshop and Jam. Gretchen is the lead organizer of the Moab Jam.
 
Steven Homsher has a background in gymnastics, dance, and aerial dance. He is an avid Contact Improvisation teacher and performer, and dances with Tumblebones Dance Collective. Steve finds the co-creative and in-the-moment nature of this form to allow for the broadest expression of humanness. He is also a professional visual artist and carpenter. He assists Gretchen in organizing the Moab Jam, and is his daughter Quill's favorite dance partner. Dancing in Moab is one of his favorite things -- he is reminded of the power of deep listening, inspiration of nature, and the mysteries of the creative mind.
 
Alicia Grayson has been passionately involved with dancing, teaching and performing CI for the past 27 years. Her long time practices of authentic movement, yoga, meditation and her work as a somatic psychotherapist are important influences on her dancing and teaching. She has taught contact improvisation as an adjunct faculty at George Washington University, University of Denver, Naropa University and Shenandoah University. She teaches CI, yoga and pilates classes in Boulder and regularly travels nationally and internationally to teach. She delights in exploring and discovering new depths to contact improvisation and related disciplines and is particularly interested int he intersection of physics and expression and the mind/body relationship. She has been dancing with Tumblebones CI Collective since 2005. http://www.tumblebones.com
 
J. Akiyama's contact improvisation teachers include Boulder-based teachers Alicia Grayson, Gretchen Spiro, and Steve Homsher as well as Nancy Stark Smith, Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Ray Chung, Jörg Hassmann, Scott Wells, Mirva Mäkinen, and Kirstie Simson. He has participated at the West Coast CI Jam (Berkeley, CA); ECITE (European CI Teachers Exchange) in Ibiza, Spain; the Freiburg CI Festival (Freiburg, Germany;) Skiing on Skin CI Festival (Raasepori, Finland); the West Coast CI Jam (Berkeley, CA);  iDance CI Festival (Kagoshima, Japan; Seoul, South Korea); CI Ground Research (Earthdance, MA; California); the Moab Jam & Workshop (Moab, UT); and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (Seattle, WA).  Jun has also performed in New York, NY; San Francisco and Berkeley, CA; Boulder, CO; Kagoshima, Japan and Seoul/Udo, South Korea (iDance Festivals); Moab, UT; Seattle, WA (SFDI); Willard, WI (GLACIER); and Mazomanie, WI (Mazopalooza).  He is a member of the Tumblebones dance collective in Boulder, CO. He has been actively studying and teaching the Japanese martial art of aikido for over 20 years. His other interests include the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education and Playback improvisational theatre. More information on the classes, workshops, and jams he organizes in Boulder, CO may be found at SharingWeight.com.
 
Todd Paulsmeyer initiated the Moab Jam in 1996. He is currently taking a break from the Moab Jam organization.
 

We Couldn't Do It Alone!

The organization of the Moab Jam is supported by generous work-exchange people and other helpers each year. Their help is invaluable -- we could not do it without them.  Each year we are blessed to be supported by people who contribute their talents and energy to the event, and we are ever so grateful.
 
Past Workshop Teachers
 
2015 - Re-Wilding Contact Improvisation II (Aaron Jessup, Blake Nellis,
            Brad Stoller, Cathie Caraker, Krista DeNio, Kristen Greco, Tamin Totzke)
2014 - Re-Wilding Contact Improvisation (Aaron Jessup, Bastien Auber, Blake Nellis,
            Brad Stoller, Cathie Caraker, Krista DeNio, Kristen Greco, Tamin Totzke)
2013 - Jules Beckman
2012 - Teacher's exchange 
2011 - Chris Aiken & Angie Hauser
2010 - Chris Aiken & Angie Hauser
2009 - Nancy Stark Smith & Mike Vargas
2008 - Kirsti Simson
2007 - Chris Aiken & Angie Hauser
2006 - Ray Chung
2005 - Gretchen Spiro & Tim O'Donnell, Keith Hennessy (Jam)
2004 - Martin Keogh
2003 - Martin Keogh
2002 - Carolyn Stuart
2001 - Jam