I have some wishes for contact improvisation for 2014:
- That this is a year where CI as a group thinks more about “In” and “Out.” I’d like to see the CI community do some extra reflection this year about how we include and exclude people from CI — from dances, from social interactions, from community, from being accepted. Inclusivity and open-mindedness are arguably part of contact improvisation’s founding philosophies and culture. I think we have a special obligation to be sensitive to these issues and to be rigorously self-critical of our roles around them. Yes, part of this means occasionally dancing with people you might not ordinarily dance with.
- That there are real, measurable steps taken this year towards increasing diversity in contact improvisation. One early bit of good news: I heard that one reason that the Ontario Regional Contact Jam was moved this year from its usual Toronto location of Dovercourt House to the National Ballet School was because the National Ballet School is wheelchair accessible. (The Web page doesn’t yet mention this fact — I need to send them an e-mail to encourage make it clear.) Physical accessibility is far too often an afterthought. This year’s Detroit Jam does mention that its event location will be accessible — even bolding accessible. Nice touch, guys.
- That this year we start a Brooklyn Jam in New York City. Brooklyn Jam 2014, yo.
These are also sort of New Year’s Resolutions; I’ll be pushing for all of these things this year, and hopefully writing a number of blog posts about all of them. And I’ll take a look at the end of the year or shortly thereafter to see if any of the wishes came true.