Steve Paxton’s inquiry into the dark side of the body

It is all to bring movement to consciousness.

Steve Paxton
Cover of the DVD and Web-APP

The Material for Spine is an outcome of many years of curious movement exploration by Steve Paxton, skillfully compiled in a video presentation. It is a system with ideokinetic imagery and exercises that allows connection with one’s spine, the part of our body, which is the most unseen. These exercises, as he narrates in a wonderfully produced video presentation “bring the light of consciousness to the dark side of the body, that is the side not much self seen.”

Steven Paxton is an experimental dancer, choreographer, teacher and author. In 1972, while teaching Aikido, and specifically how to fall he developed a new dance movement. Later he named it Contact Improvisation (CI). Nowadays Contact Improvisation is established dance movement and even an integral part of many dance training trajectories. It is widely practiced by professional as well as lay dancers. CI a fusion of dance, martial arts, social interaction and a ‘child’s play’. Its basic movements imply connection between two (or more) individuals, who establish a point of contact through bodies (this can be through backs, hands, wrists, or any other body parts), they give and take weight of each others bodies, create and maintain movements that develop.

I came across his wonderful exercises during COVID-19 lockdown, when the most affected part of my body was my chained-to-chair-spine. These exercises can truly inspire a wide array of applications from traditional dance classes to movement awareness circles.

“As I reflect on the contents of this DVD I see that the exercises themselves are just means to stay focused on the spine, to sample our relation to that central sensorial mystery”

Steve Paxton
A dance performed and narrated by Steve Paxton: “Small Dance”

Lastly, a video demonstration of ‘Small Dance’ narrated and danced by Steve Paxton. During COVID-19 lock down, I shared this video performance with students in my class and instructed them to follow his voiceover and allow own bodies to engage in “Small dance”. The students were genuinely amazed by the power of stillness in their bodies.

Published by Lela Mosem

'დაე იყოს ბედნიერი ყველა ხილული თუ უხილავი'

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