Jam Hosts

2016 Jam Hosts

Blake Nellis (MN) is a curious cat.  He is a dancer, photographer, teacher and improviser.  His work is inspired by the art of timing, patience, repetition, laughter, street dance, original music, the circus, athletics, laughter, perfect timing, repetition and perfect timing.  And repetition.  Blake is currently a freelance performer and visual artist living in Minneapolis.  He has taught throughout the US, Mexico, Europe and Asia over the last ten years.  Blake began studying CI under Jane Hawley in 2004, with great influence from Martin Keogh, Nancy Stark Smith, Daniel Lepkoff, Jane Shockley and Leilani Weis.  Blake's current passion project is directing a series of short dance videos called "Mad Minute Films".  If you're curious: www.blakenellis.org


Brad Stoller (VA) has been falling since he learned to walk and dancing since he decided it was actually more fun than football. He has been teaching CI for 30 years, SFADI, Frieburg, Moab, and other venues abroad including Kenyan and Ugandan villages. He has a black belt in Aikido, a Master's degree in Playwriting, and converted 6 cars to run on veggie grease. He currently teaches CI at UVa in Charlottesville, VA where he also teaches the Alexander Technique and runs the theatre program at the local community college. He has been co-facilitating an Active Witnessing Authentic movement group for the past 6 years using CI as the basis.

 


Daniel Bear Davis (CA and beyond) has taught Contact Improvisation and Composition internationally since 2007 and has been teaching Axis Syllabus since 2013. He has applied and adapted learning from these physical inquiry practices in activity as diverse as bodywork and acrobatic stilts. Whether teaching physical skills or compositional practices, his intention is to foster tools for informed choice and increased possibility. 

Daniel has a creative practice driven by awe and wonder for humanity and an equally poignant curiosity and respect for the more-than-human world. His work prioritizes content over genre, weaving text, dance, video, music and new media. He considers all work to be site and context-specific and is interested in mobilizing audience agency through interaction and unconventional use of space. His explorations investigate a wide and rich acceptance of what it is to be human in a more-than-human world.  Danielbeardavis.com


Neige Christenson (MA) has enjoyed over 30 years of exploring, teaching and performing Contact Improvisation, enriched by the practice of Authentic Movement. She holds an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University, and is a graduate of the National Theater Institute and Smith College, where she first discovered Contact. She actively supports both her home-jam in Boston and the CI programming at Earthdance. She loves the way a CI duet can be a metaphor for human relationship and also be an abstract expression of life-force energy. Her teaching encourages opening the improvisational mind and body to full presence and connection with self and other. Performance and dance portraits can be found here. Her writings on dancing the improvised life, homeschooling and our relationship to this earth have appeared in Contact QuarterlyThe Sun magazine; Fire in the Womb: Mothers and Creativity; and Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring our Place in the Natural World.

 

 


Ronja Ver (CA) is a dancer and dance maker, teacher, mother, activist, and lifetime student of performance as meaning-making. Her choreographic work addresses current issues through movement, sound, and awkward audience participation; technical but unpolished, often working with extreme physical states to invite a visceral, nonverbal place of relating. She has performed extensively in Europe and in the United States, most recently with Sara Shelton Mann, Risa Jaroslow, and Scott Wells in San Francisco, and Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas in New York City. Previous posts include the National Theater of Finland and Riitta Vainio Dance Company, and she is proud to be featured on Steve Paxton’s dvd Material for the Spine. She is continually inspired by the art and practice of Contact Improvisation, and has taught both intensives and classes at several international festivals including SFDI, wcciJAM, Skiing On Skin, and Freiburg. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF

Aaron Brando (MA) holds a Masters Degree in Education and loves the art of crafting pedagogy in a non-codified system such as CI. Brando teaches CI in the U.S. and internationally. He serves on the Board of Directors for Earthdance Retreat Center. Brando has been instrumental in creating the event, CI Ground Research, which encourages the ongoing research of Contact Improvisation by dancers from around the world. Brando trained with Tom Myers at the KMI Institute and is a certified Fascial Bodywork/Structural Integration practitioner. He served a two-year residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga, is a certified Yoga teacher and has a 20-year history with Vipassana Meditation. More information, including links to Brando’s youTube videos can be found @ www.heybrando.com


Junior Jam Host

We aim to make the Moab Jam family-friendly. There are numerous fun places for children to explore in Moab (park with giant musical instruments, public pool with lots of water features, and of course the swimming holes and canyons with tons of fun hidey places!)

Quill Homsher is the 8 1/2-year-old dancing daughter of Steve and Gretchen.  She enjoys dancing, climbing, handstands and exploring canyon hideouts and rivers. This will be Quill’s 8th Moab Jam. She likes to show other kids the great places around Moab. If you planning to bring your children to the Moab Jam, please contact Gretchen at dance@moabjam.com for details about children at the Jam.