Contact Improvisation An Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance Form

ISBN-10: 0786426470

ISBN-13: 9780786426478

Edition: 2006

Authors: Cheryl Pallant

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In most forms of dancing, performers carry out their steps with a distance that keeps them from colliding with each other. Dancer Steve Paxton in the 1970s considered this distance a territory for investigation. His study of intentional contact resulted in a public performance in 1972 in a Soho gallery, and the name "contact improvisation" was coined for the form of unrehearsed dance he introduced. Rather than copyrighting it, Paxton allowed it to evolve and spread. In this book the author draws upon her own experience and research to explain the art of contact improvisation, in which dance partners propel movement by physical contact. They roll, fall, spiral, leap, and slip along the contours and momentum of moving bodies. The text begins with a history, then describes the elements that define this form of dance. Subsequent chapters explore how contact improvisation relates to self and identity; how class, race, gender, culture and physiology influence dance; how dance promotes connection in a culture of isolation; and how it relates to the concept of community. The final chapter is a collection of exercises explained in the words of teachers from across the United States and abroad. Appendix A describes how to set up and maintain a weekly jam; Appendix B details recommended reading, videos and Web sites.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 5/24/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 207
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Cheryl Pallant is a dancer, dance critic, and teacher at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. She leads contact improvisation workshops around the world.

The Creative Body: Source of a New Form
The Practicing Body: Contact Improvisation Fundamentals
The Knowing Body: Self and Identity
The Entitled Body: Politics and Privilege
The Relating Body: Alienation and Orientation
The Tribal Body: Creating Community
The Dancing Body: A Teacher's Sampler
Small Dance
Shakedown (excerpt)
Developmental Movement Warm-up
Increasing Awareness of the Spine
A Class on the Back
Magic Wands
Vessel in a Hand
Defying Gravity
Down to Go Up Mixer
Saying No
Koan Dancing
Setting Up a Weekly Contact Improvisation Jam
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