California Contact Improv Jam
Not Just a Jam – It is a Tradition
With 30+ years of history, this Jam has become an iconic event for Contact Improvisation in California. People come from all over the state and beyond, some are seasoned CI teachers and dancers, some are new to the form. But they all share the same passion for the form, for human connection, for the healing power of a simple touch. And we gather together in a dedicated place, free of distractions, to focus just on that – our own selves, our relationship to our own bodies, and the pure joy of playing with one another. Something we’ve all done when we were kids, and something we might not be doing enough as adults.
Most years, the Jam was held at the conference center at Harbin Hot Springs on Memorial Day weekend (end of May). Informally, it has become known as “the Harbin Jam”. Unfortunately, due to the tragic Valley Fire in fall 2015, the conference center and most other structures at the Harbin Hot Springs burned down. We were all very shaken by this tragedy, and we are hopeful that the resort will soon get rebuilt, and the Jam can return back to its original home.
In the meantime, the Jam had to find a new place. In 2016, we were happy to be hosted by the cozy Salamander Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains which held many small contact improv gatherings in the past.
The smaller and more intimate venue and fewer participants made that year's CCI jam feel very different, yet in its own way very special. We had not only several classes but also lunch time group discussions on the contact culture and specifics of this movement form as well as a screening of historic video footage with Q&A time. All of this served us to make our time together memorable.
Harbin Hot Springs
18424 Harbin Springs Road, Middletown, CA 95461
Traditionally, the CCI Jam was held at Harbin in a conference center building. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2015 that building and the rest of the campus succumbed to the Valley Fire. The Jam was held once more in 2016 in Salamander Camp in Santa Cruz mountains, but was subsequently put on hold while Harbin was rebuilding.
In 2020, just as Harbin started to reopen, the World faced the COVID-19 pandemic, and all of the dances and public venues were closed. The LNU Lightning Complex fires also threatened Harbin in August 2020, but luckily the fire did not reach its grounds.
Therefore, we are currently on hold, and will post any updates as situation changes.
The Organizers of 2016
Long time organizer and teacher at CCI Jam
Movement artist, bodyworker and somatic movement educator
Passionate dancer, and a technical wizard