Contact improvisation

Contact improvisation is a form of improvised dancing that has been developing internationally since 1972. It involves the exploration of one's body in relationship to others by using the fundamentals of sharing weight, touch, and movement awareness.



American dancer and choreographer Steve Paxton originated contact improvisation, drawing from his past training in aikido, a martial art form, to explore and push boundaries with his colleagues and students to develop this new practice. Contact improvisation plays with the artistry of falling off balance, counterbalance, finding the shelves of the body, learning the mechanics of the body in order to handle someone else's weight or be lifted, breathing techniques, and can involve the art of getting to know your partner past the physical point through the physicality.


Steve Paxton, along with other pioneers Nancy Stark Smith, Danny Lepkoff, Lisa Nelson, Karen Nelson, Nita Little, Andrew Harwood, Peter Bingham, and Ray Chung, thus participated in creating an "art-sport," oscillating between different emphases depending on the moments and personalities who practice it:

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