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« Our Bodies are not readymades: The Ordinary in Steve Paxton’s Dance Pieces from the 1960s »

Julie Perrin 1
1 Laboratoire d’analyse des discours et pratiques en danse
MUSIDANSE - Esthétique, musicologie, danse et création musicale
Abstract : Steve Paxton's pieces from the 1960s present a varied range of understanding of the ordinary. They were made at a time when many different forms of distancing from modern dance, ballet, and the Cunningham virtuosity appeared in the United States. Indeed, after training in gymnastics and performing modern dance, Steve Paxton came to New York in 1958 to study with Cunningham (who hired him in the company in 1961), for whom all movement, no matter how mundane, was potentially a dance movement - a concept the choreographer had borrowed from his partner, music composer John Cage, for whom all sound was potentially music. Paxton meant to put this theoretical position into practice and went on creating dance pieces entirely made up of everyday gestures, such as sitting, standing, smiling, or walking. If we look at the theoretical and artistic debates over the concept of the ordinary in the 1960s, four categories emerge. I will also at last examine the documentary part of what we might call « the everyday aesthetic on stage ».
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Submitted on : Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 2:22:05 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 5, 2021 - 6:02:54 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02293852, version 1


Julie Perrin. « Our Bodies are not readymades: The Ordinary in Steve Paxton’s Dance Pieces from the 1960s ». Romain Bigé (ed.). Steve Paxton/Drafting Interior Techniques, Culturgest, p. 28-40, 2019. ⟨hal-02293852⟩



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