Composing Forward: The Art of Steve Paxton
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Composing Forward: The Art of Steve Paxton

“A titan of the 1960s and ’70s avant-garde.” —New York Times

This multifaceted mini-festival celebrates the work of legendary dancer and choreographer Steve Paxton, the creator of the worldwide movement phenomenon contact improvisation. Paxton’s life and art have been intricately linked to the Walker’s history of dance—from being a key dancer in Merce Cunningham’s company during some of Cunningham’s most fertile years in the 1960s, to his role as a principal in the influential Judson Dance Theater (along with Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, David Gordon, Deborah Hay, and Lucinda Childs), to his participation with the Grand Union collective, which had two seminal residencies at the Walker in the early ’70s. In recent years, Paxton’s live performances have been rare, but his role in the development of contemporary dance is profound.


Purchase both performances for $30 ($27 Walker members) by calling the box office at 612.375.7600.


Friday, November 14
A performance remount of his 1982 solo Bound, expertly performed by Slovenian dancer Jurij Konjar, combines improvised as well as set dance sequences with theatrical framing.

Night Stand

Friday–Saturday, November 21–22
This poignant and incredibly nuanced duet created in 2004, performed by Paxton himself with longtime collaborator and master improviser Lisa Nelson, is a “reminder that one of the pleasures of watching high-level improvised performances is the sense you get of on-the-spot decisions, of accidents that become baby epics, of tides that turn unexpectedly” (Deborah Jowitt’s DanceBeat).


Saturday, November 22
After the performance, head to the Balcony Bar to join a discussion or just listen in as others hash it out. SpeakEasy conversations are hosted by a tour guide and members of the local performing arts community.