STEVE PAXTON, TOM ENGELS, MYRIAM VAN IMSCHOOT, LOU FORSTER
Conversations in Vermont: Steve Paxton
Free entrance with sign-up for the event. Sign-up here
This evening Dansehallerne will celebrate the launch of Sarma’s new digital publication Conversations in Vermont: Steve Paxton.
This online publication and research tool, hosting 15 hours of interviews, highlights the early work and life of the acclaimed American experimental dancer and choreographer Steve Paxton. The online publication and the event focuses on Steve Paxton’s early days (1958-1972), prior to the development of contact improvisation, thus offering a less visited perspective on Steve Paxton.
Initiator and interviewer Myriam Van Imschoot and co-editor Tom Engels will guide the audience through the publication. Steve Paxton himself participates online and the French writer and researcher Lou Forster will also contribute to the dialogue.
Dansehallerne will serve a glass of wine to the audience at the end of the event, as a celebration of the launch.
Steve Paxton (US/1939) has researched the fiction of cultured dance and the “truth” of improvisation for 55 years. Paxton is a choreographer and dancer best known as the inventor of Contact Improvisation, a touch-based, weight sensitive, conversational and often athlectic dance technique that, since its inception in 1972, has become practiced around the world. Its roots reflect his childhood, where he became an accomplished gymnast. When he was young, Mr. Paxton said, he realized “all I ever wanted to do was dance,” so he came East in 1958 after being offered a scholarship to the American Dance Festival in Connecticut.
Paxton was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater, Grand Union, Contact Improvisation, and Touchdown Dance for the visually disabled (UK), and he began his career studying modern dance techniques, ballet, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and Vipassana meditation. He performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1961 to 1965.
He lectures, performs, choreographs, and teaches primarily in the US and Europe. In June 2014 he received the Venice Biennale Leone d’Oro for lifetime achievement in dance. He received another Bessie in 2016 for the same reason.
More info here
Myriam Van Imschoot (BE) is an artist working across the media of performance, film and installation, usually departing from her interest in the voice, orality and lore. She has been a founding member of Sarma in 2001 and of Oral Site in 2011. The latter is an online publishing house for artist publications and experimental documentation. Her work has been produced and presented internationally in art, theater, music and film contexts. Her performance What Nature Says – on the sound of habitats in crisis – was selected as one of the best performances in 2015 by the critics of Esystis.
More info here
Tom Engels (BE) works as an editor, curator, writer and dramaturge. He is part of the curatorial team of Sarma, the Brussels-based laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication. As a dramaturge he recently worked with Alexandra Bachzetsis (CH/GR), Mette Ingvartsen (BE/DK), Bryana Fritz (US/BE) and PRICE (CH).
His writings appeared in visual arts and performing arts magazines such as De Witte Raaf (BE), Extra Extra Nouveau Magazine Erotique (NL), Etcetera (BE), a.o. His curatorial project another name, spoken, was presented at Jan Mot Gallery (Brussels) in 2017. He is behind the performance and lecture series Matters of Performance is a performance and lecture series that investigates the matter of performance and how performance comes to matter.
Engels is also active in different educational contests like P.A.R.T.S. (Brussels), S.N.D.O. (Amsterdam), Centre National de la Danse (Paris) and the School of Arts (Ghent). He holds degrees in art history (Ghent University) and Choreography and Performance (Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft, Giessen).
Lou Forster (FR) author and writer. He has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Theater Studies and a master from School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). In 2017, he initiates a PhD at the EHESS on the choreographic and graphic work of Lucinda Childs and is doctoral fellow of the National Institute of Art History (INHA). Since 2010 he works as an art critic and writes, among others, for A prior and Le journal des Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers and, from 2011 to 2013, he co-directs the art journal Art21. He publishes a number of articles on Walid Raad, Yvonne Rainer, Franck Leibovici, Claudia Triozzi, Juan Dominguez, Rabih Mroué, L’Encyclopédie de la Parole and others. In fall 2016, he curates Lucinda Childs, Nothing personal (1963-1989), the first retrospective dedicated to the work of the American choreographer at the National Center for Dance (CND) and Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Pantin during the Festival d’Automne à Paris. Since 2010 he creates with Lenio Kaklea a platform developing choreographic and curatorial projects that explore the intersection of dance, research and critical theory. More info here
Portrait Steve Paxton / by photographer Gene Pittman for Walker Art Center