Personal Focus Jam

Davide Casiraghi
Nov 27, 2017
An easy way to research while jamming


What is your interest at the moment in Contact Improvisation? What are your questions today? What are you dealing with in your practice? Maybe something happens all the time in the jam and we want to drive in it. If you don’t have a question your question can be: what is my question?

This is the kind of question I'm using to step in a Personal Focus Jam.

I ask the jam participants to bring in the starting circle their personal question of the day, intention, their actual interest or what they are struggling with at this moment in CI, to share it with the others dance and share again the outcome.
  • Gather in circle
  • Ask everybody to share their personal question, intention, their actual interest or what they are struggling with at this moment in CI
  • Jam (40 minutes). During the jam is possible to change the question if we find something more interesting, also to drop the question and just dance
  • Find an end to the dance one partner to share the outcome. (15 min)
  • My partner while is listening try to understand where is the main focus of my sharing? Where is concentrated my energy? And can make me a question about what is for me that detail.
    Eg. If my focus was falling and I spoke a lot about my knees I can get a question about my knees. To allow me to go deeper into this topic. And maybe this can become my next focus.
  • Then dance again (20 min).
  • Finish the jam
  • Then, share in the big circle what we have found about our journey

I got the inspiration for this kind of jam format in ECITE 2017 where, thanks to Angelica Doni, we spent one week working in a group called "Jam and Questions". There was not a detailed explanation of what was the group about and what we should do. It was just about jamming and share in the circle after the jam, three hours later.
My way to find a sense in this research group was every day after the dances, to find my question of the day, and to share it in the circle.

I love to share this sentence about the ability to make fruitful questions that I've found in a book called "The art of powerful questions", by Eric E. Vogt, Juanita Brown, and David Isaacs.
In the past, one of the most important skills for leaders and researchers was to provide answers to questions. Nowadays all the answers are available on the internet and it got more and more important the ability to ask ourselves quality questions. With a good question, we can open the possibility to get an answer.