Steve Paxton: Re-envisioning Ave Nue

januari 31st, 2009

These weeks I am participating in a collaboration of students with Artist in Residence at the AHK Steve Paxton. We are re-envisioning his project Ave Nue.

Ave Nue was made in Brussels in 1985. It dealt with a 75 meter or so long space, in which two audience seatings with 50 or so people gradually were moved away from each other, and dance and projections happened in between. We are investigating this project with 10 SNDO students, 3 students from the Amsterdam Master of Choreography, 2 students of the MA Theatre Studies (UU) and 1 PhD Student (UU).

Ave Nue 2009
The performance will be made in ‘De bagagehal’ of Loods 6 in Amsterdam. An almost as long hallway as the military building in Brussels was. The performances will take place on Februari 12 and 13.

The peformances will be semi-public, i.e. for a circumscribed group of interested people rather than a totally open showing. The SNDO students will dance in the performance. We will combine the production of writing around the project as part of investigations of the retrieval of the piece, the subject matter that is raised by the project – issues of perception and distance, of light. This part will be the concern of the MA/PhD students. On Februari 9 there will be a semi-public lecture on the project in ‘de theaterschool’, probably on the notion of reconstruction and the role of the senses in performance.

Steve Paxton
Steve Paxton was born in 1939 and is an experimental dancer and choreographer. He has an early background in gymnastics and danced in works of Merce Cunningham, José Limón, Yvonne Rainer and Trisha Brown. He is a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater as it emerged from the composition classes of Robert Dunn in 1962. He was member of the Grand Union touring the USA for 5 years introducing improvisation as a concert form of dance. In the early 1970s he developed Contact Improvisation together with Nancy Stark Smith, Danny Lepkoff and many others, an open form of dancing defined only by making physical contact between dancers. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he collaborated extensively with voice artist David Moss. From the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s Paxton performed his improvisations on the recordings of the Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould. He has pursued persistent interest in the functioning of the body and perception, physical laws of friction, momentum, gravity, and inertia in dance improvisation. He has regularly published his thinking in a great variety of publications.

For more info see the website of ‘de theaterschool‘ (dutch).

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