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Steve Paxton

1933, Phoenix (Arizona, U.S.); lives in Newport, (Vermont, U.S.)

In the early 1960’s, Steve Paxton was a dancer with the Jose Limon company. From 1961 to 1965, he performed in several works by Merce Cunningham. In 1962, Paxton became one of the founding members of the Judson Dance Theatre. Like his collaborators, he attempted to break down the traditional barriers between dancers and non-dancers. Following this period of joint creation with the members of the Judson Dance Theatre, he developed the technique of contact improvisation. With this method, dancers are continuously interacting with each other to create a series of movements. It has influenced many choreographers and is widely used as a teaching tool.

Since the late 1970’s, Paxton has largely left the performance world, devoting himself primarily to training workshops and writing. He nevertheless still delivers some improvised solo performances and collaborates with choreographers, composers, and artists, including Robert Ashley, Trisha Brown, Boris Charmatz, Kathy Duck, Lisa Nelson, and Vera Mantero.

[Documents available in the collection about Steve Paxton...] 

[Documents available in the collection by Steve Paxton...] 

Vincent Bonin © 2006 FDL