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Tribute to Steve Paxton
Transcript of Tribute to Steve Paxton
Paxton believed even an untrained dancer could contribute to the dance....
Influenced by the experimental arts and performance scene in New York, he was interested in how the body could create a physical playground.
The World Around Him
Who is Steve Paxton?
Born in 1939, Steve Paxton is an experimental dancer who became one of the influential choreographers' to shape contemporary dance..
Movement All Around Us
Paxton was fascinated with the bodies movement. His early approach to movement included observation of pedestrian then later moved to the world around him.
The Untold Story of the Body
Paxton was known for eliminating any outside influences that would prevent the piece from just being accepted how it was.
Changing the world
Revolutionary changing the world of dance around him with his experimentation work of movement and the structure of the human body. He became an visionary choreographer crafting different version of what it is to be a dancer.
The natural movement of his dances may look improvised (as shown in the next picture) but these simple movements of dropping your body and your head represent to me a rag doll of society that has been created by taking the creativity out of dance.
A Dance of Culture, Beauty & Society....
These simple movements are the bases of my tribute as the dance will start with the early work of Paxton transitioning to my modern take of his work with the spin movements, extension and release. I will show the creativity and the beauty coming to society and how people may just be realizing the creativity in the world.
Making the littlest of Movements come to LIFE
Who in 1972 developed the dance form known as Contact Improvisation which utilizes the physical movement and explores the relationship between dancers.
Trained with Merce Cunnigham for 3 years and using chance dance. Paxton believed that he could create his own technique that represented his philosophy. Using what he had learn from Cunnigham. He focused on the movement of his own body which in time changed choreography globally.
Contact Improvisation relies on the dancers own life experience such as social dance, sport, and the dancers childhood background. These elements are used to help the dancer emergence themselves in the movement vocabulary which depends on a specific touch.
Movement is everywhere in the world through walking and even in a everyday pattern. Paxton saw that people where falling into a pattern with no creativity. Paxton focused his dancers to represent the pattern that society has created to show that creativity is missing.
The body as a physical machine that can be expressed by nature and culture around it which intern can represent a meaning or message.
He minimized the difference between the audience and the performer in everyday movement which in time showed the architecture of the human body. Paxton's work with the body and the spine to influence and changed dance.
His work shows that a simple arm and leg movement can be executed by different angles of the body. Sustained to can evoke such feelings of flowing movement, for example in the previous picture of Steve Paxton the position of his arm being suspended represents the puppetry in society losing creativity.
He changed and challenged the view of traditional contemporary dance.
For example, in a video of Steve Paxton doing a solo dance performance you see him showing different movements that clearly outlines his own spine from each vertebra. One of the constant movements shown is lifting the shoulders to make him sustained for a moment then releasing the spin to another movement of shaking.
Paxton has created dances that show different movement techniques like the extension of an arm that show the spin at work. With the slow manipulation of movement, he releases the hold to captivate the audience and also the dancers. His earlier work shows his interest in pedestrians and the actions they do like eating and walking, however there is always one person that stops and questions the routine therefore questioning where the creativity is.
For example, as the dancer walks into center stage, she stops and looks at the screen that shows the words "creativity". As different pictures from around the world are displayed, the dancer will perform different culture that have brought creativity back into society with different movements based on Steve Paxton's work. This will also show the manipulation of contemporary dance.
Steve Paxton has changed the way we view contemporary dance. He has used movement through culture to create dances that bring creativity to the dance world. And it breaks from the pattern of normal life routines. Paxton has inspired me to bring culture to dances through spine tingling movement techniques to shape and form contemporary dance.
As I researched Steve Paxton, I found a choreographer who has created contact improvisation to show the audience and the performances that we are all linked by creativity and culture not by society. And also to show the type of culture that brings creativity to life. My tribute to Steve Paxton will show the culture of the world through its beauty, and the society that now has creativity thanks to him.
Paxton teaches all dancers to connect themselves in their body and their spines to the floor because when you utilize your spine you access different movements that you properly didn't know you could do. Throughout his dances he uses a mixture of different techniques like collapse, suspension and sustained.
The floor was used consistently to the dancer's advantage however only used to enhance the meaning of the dance. My dance will be stylized by the same techniques of collapse, suspension and sustained with emphasis on balance between the audience and the performer (like Steve Paxton), with the rise, pause and elevation to show the meaning of the dance and the teaching of the choreographer.
Thank You for Watching
Created by Madeleine Weaver