Jam Hosts

2018 Moab Jam Hosts
I am currently working on this page for 2108 Moab Jam--it's not complete!. Stay tuned. It should be ready for looking-at by Jan 28.
Organizers note: For the 2018 Moab Jam we invited jam hosts from 3 different countries (France, Chile, Finland), and from both coasts and the midwest of the USA. They are exceptional dancers, bringing enthusiasm and commitment for the investigation of Contact Improvisation (and other practices), and each brings extraordinary generosity towards sharing their passion with dancers new to CI, with those well along the dancing path, and with other professional dancers. The each value the power of creative community, and are at the heart of the Moab Jam
BASTIEN AUBER (Grenoble, France) Bastien began his investigation of Contact Improvisation over 10 years ago, adn is passionate about sharing his research about nature and movements. His approach to physical dynamics is closely linked with the existing movements in earth and universe (water, earth, air, fire and ether). His teaching is based on the relationship between the body and the multi-spatial environment (macrocosm and microcosm).

Bastien teaches weekly classes (in Grenoble) and 5-6 weekend workshops per year. He teach also internationally : Germany (CMC festival 2015), USA (New York, Moab Jam 2014), Israel (CI festival 2013), Spain (Fueteventura 2016, CI festival Valencia 2013 and 2012), Italy (Roma Contact 2012), Ukraine (Kiev CI festival 2011), and Russia (where he taught dance with ropes and nature events in 2012). He is influenced by different contact/performance teachers from different countries (Chris Aiken, Ray Chung, Keith Hennessey, Alicia Grayson, Lisa Nelson Angela Doni, Adrian Russi, Joerg Hassman, Charlie Morrissey , Isabelle Uski…)His movement is also inspired by his back-ground in different practices (many years of climbing, work as geologist, authentic movement, vipassana meditation...). He is part of the organizing team of the "1001 Festival" in Grenoble. Currently he is interested in the field of subtle bodies forming in Geobiology and Bioenergy. www.bastien-auber.jimdo.com/

Blake Nellis (Minneapolis, MN) is a curious cat.  He​ is an artist, educator and improviser who creates work with the body. His work is deeply rooted in human connection, physical touch, shared emotion and the quest for perfect timing. He originally hails from Door County, Wisconsin, and graduated from Luther College with a degree in Theater/Dance.  He later spent two years as adjunct faculty at Luther in the Visual & Performing Arts Department.  He is a recent recipient of the MN State Arts Board: Artist Initiative Grant and the McKnight Foundation’s Metropolitan Regional Arts Council: Next Step Fund. He has taught and performed throughout the US, Mexico, Europe & Asia and is proud to call Minneapolis home! His most influential CI teachers have been: Nancy Stark Smith, Martin Keogh, Jane Hawley, Daniel Lepkoff, Jane Shockley, Steve Paxton, Carol Swan, Leilani Weis and Paul Langland. He has recently produced work at the Walker Art Center, Red Eye Theater, TEK Box, The Soap Factory, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater & Luther College. He is a freelance photographer, choreographer and dancer. But lately all that matters is being a dad! www.blakenellis.org

Brad Stoller (Charlottesville, 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 32 years. He has taught at SFADI, Frieburg International CI Festival, and other venues abroad including Kenyan and Ugandan villages. He has a black belt in Aikido, a Master's degree in Playwriting, and has converted 6 cars to run on veggie grease. He currently teaches CI and contemplative dance, and Alexander technique at UVa in Charlottesville, VA. He is the Director of Theatre Arts at PVCC college and maintains an Alexander Technique practice and Authentic Movement group in Charlottesville, VA. Moab and the Moab Jam is one of his most favorite things ever!



KATHERINE COOK  (Seattle, WA) is a dancer, teacher, and mathematician. Complexity, rigor, and depth mark her dance improvisation practice, research, performance, and teaching.  Katherine teaches CI in Seattle and around the US at festivals including SFDI, wcciJAM, Portland Regional Jam, University of Washington, and others; she is the director of the Seattle Collaboratory of the Institute for Study of Somatic Communication developed by Nita Little; she runs the monthly Underscore in Seattle and is a member of the Seattle CI Lab, a long-running alliance of dancers that explores the form, practice, community, and teaching of CI. Her teaching, research, or performance collaborators include Nita Little, Nancy Stark Smith, Karen Nelson, Cyrus Khambatta, and Kris Wheeler, among others. When not dancing, Katherine is advocating for change in the current practices of math education or embarking on long adventures in the wilderness.




NEIGE CHRISTENSON (Waltham, 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.



I was born in Santiago de Chile. My initial studies was Theater in the "Teatro Imagen" Preforming Arts Academy.  I developed into contemporary dance. I started freelancing as a dancer. In the meantime I studied Kalaripayattu and some vocal training in Hindustan Kalari Sangam in India. My dance has integrated influences from Martial Arts, Butoh, Bodyweather training and all my accidents trough life. With CI my dancing path opened into other kind of awareness and somatic practices.

After living a few years in Barcelona, I worked with s.i.a.m.b; researched, collaborated and organized the C.I Barcelona Meeting and other activities related to Improvisation and contact. I received my B.A in contemporary dance. U.D.L.A (Chile) As a performer, choreographer and artist I’ve been performing in different kinds of festivals in Chile, Spain, France and Canada collaborating with national and international artists in research projects around improvisation as a performing practice. I've been teaching C.I in different cities in Chile, Peru, Spain, Istanbul and New Zealand. 


I currently live in Chile where I´m developing and organizing activities related to dance, improvisation and different kinds of meeting trough art. In Valparaíso, I co-organize the international dance meeting SUDA. http://cargocollective.com/suda_suda. Also organize  and teach in Ciclo E.T // Experiencias Tangibles//, labs of contact improvisation research.    

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 10 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.