Ambient Jam‘s core event takes place on Friday afternoons at the Deptford Albany. It’s been there since 2000.
The Ambient Jam team also tour and receive commissions to develop work that responds sensitively to other venues, spaces and remits:
For the last 5 years Siobhan Davies Dance Studios have commissioned Entelechy’s Ambient Jam Ensemble to design and lead Multi-media sensory movement events in their roof top studio.
These participatory events are a chance for families, different generations, older people and people with profound disabilities to engage and contribute to an improvisation feast. Most recently Ambient Jam has been embedded in the SDDS arts programme Human Nature linking nature, gardens, environment and movement with the work of key garden artists.
The Ambient Jam Ensemble performs regularly at Entelechy’s Deptford Albany’s 21st C T dances. An hour before the show they are given a simple brief, which they respond to in situ without rehearsal; the quality of ensemble conjures without fail a polished performance that effortlessly weaves in the unexpected and members of the audience who choose to take part.
CPD and Training events:
Most recently Barbican based Artsworks commissioned Entelechy’s Ambient Jam to design a radical new sensory training – ‘Between Worlds’ – as CPD for artists working in participatory settings .
2010, Peoples Palace invited the Ambient Jam ensemble to lead an encounter with Brazilian delegates including the Minister of Youth from Brazil.
Between 1998 and 2000 Ambient Jam designed a series of ‘Between 2 Worlds training’, commissioned by the Royal Festival Hall and Greenwich Dance agency, exploring new approaches to integrated, and inter partnership work.
In the past Ambient Jam’s unique approach experimented with turfing the Albany Red Room for the Chill Out Chamber at Heart n Soul’s Beautiful Octopus Club; or the covering of the Albany Theatre floor and cabaret tables with turf, mounds of fresh mint, herbs, and sand pits for an experimental improvisation with an invited audience as part of XPOSURE Festival of disabled arts
The multi-sensory expertise arising from Ambient Jam informs Entelechy’s work across the board, particularly in grassroots contexts such as our work in nursing homes, on Little Boxes of Memories, and in the stroke unit at Lewisham Hospital, and the Aiming High Saturday club for children with complex disabilities.
Articulate, rich non-verbal communication honed from the long term collaboration with adults and children with complex disabilities can often be uniquely applied and adapted to work with people with profound dementia or those who have had strokes.
In-depth research into non- verbal creative communication has, over 24 years, created an expertise that can be then adapted and applied to other groups of people.
We have found that a life rich in sensory perception and expression nourishes any of us whatever our label.
Music and musicians
Live music affects and is affected by the multi-media landscapes inherent within Ambient Jam. Musicians work with the sensory in their own unique ways, often creating new composition in the moment. Sometimes this provokes spatial, visual relationships between music, musicians, people and other media.
Dancer/ Academic, Mara de Wit, described Ambient Jam as an encounter and collaboration “between people/emerging artists with complex disabilities and sensory impairment, sensorally and kinaesthetically skilled through necessity, and dancers /artists, sensorally and kinaesthetically skilled through training.”
Ambient Jam grew from the roots of a pioneering programme of movement for adults with learning disabilities led by the choreographer/dance artist Gary Rowe, in co-production with theatre director David Slater and clinical psychologist Andrea Hughes. This was 26 years ago, in 1989, as adults with learning disabilities were leaving Darenth Park and Grove Park Hospital to live in the community as part of the community care bill. The company was called ‘New Moves’, and it later evolved into Entelechy Arts and the Movement Programme re-named Ambient Jam.
In 1992 Entelechy’s creative director Rebecca Swift inherited the Movement Programme and – with the present team of dancers, theatre makers, musicians and participants – developed it over the years into the group-led improvisation ensemble ‘Ambient Jam’ it is now.