Flat + Satisfyin Lover + Goldberg Variations

Steve Paxton /Jurij Konjar
© Hans Schubert.
© Hans Schubert.
© Hans Schubert.

In the framework of the Steve Paxton programme, Culturgest presents three historical works by Steve Paxton, revisited by the Slovene choreographer and dancer Jurij Konjar.

The first two pieces belong to the early years of the mythical Judson Dance Theater and focus on one of the main questions launched by the collective: what is dance? In his short solo, Flat (1964), Steve Paxton explores simple actions like walking, sitting, assuming poses or focusing attention. Satisfyin Lover (1967) continues this exploration by inviting 42 randomly selected persons to walk across the stage, according to a set of simple guidelines.

The Goldberg Variations stem from a later period, 1986, when Steve Paxton had already developed his famous Contact Improvisation. In this improvised work, Paxton incorporates a number of the main concerns of post-Cunningham dance, in a moving dialogue with the homonym Bach composition, interpreted by Glen Gould. In the performance we present, Jurij Konjar revisits the original work, based on his observations of video recordings and a prolonged daily practice, part of which accompanied by Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson. In tune with Paxton’s legacy, the work is recreated at every single presentation, as an encounter between the performer, the music and the audience.      

On this day is possible to visit Steve Paxton's exhibition Drafting Interior Techniquesuntil 10:00pm. Also, it is scheduled a guided visit to the exhibition with the artist at 5:00pm.

09 MAR 2019
SAT 19:00

Buy Tickets
Main Auditorium
14€ (discounts)
Duration 80 min

Flat (1964)

FROM Steve Paxton



Satisfyin Lover (1967)

FROM Steve Paxton


Goldberg Variations (1986/2010)

FROM Jurij Konjar


LIGHT Robrecht Ghesquiere 

MUSIC Goldberg Variations (Johann Sebastian Bach), interpretado por Glen Gould (1981)

THANKS TO Steve Paxton e Lisa Nelson


COPRODUCTION Tanzquartier Wien

SUPPORT Slovenia Ministry of Culture

About Steve Paxton cycle

The American choreographer, dancer and improviser, Steve Paxton, born in 1939, has shaped the image of dance over the last six decades. Having started his career in the 1950s, Paxton danced with José Limon and Merce Cunningham, as well as being one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theatre, the source of various collective creations that have laid the roots of postmodern dance. He was also a founder member of the New York-based improvisation collective Grand Union. He is the inventor of two techniques – Contact Improvisation and Material for the Spine – and has worked together with several visual artists (such as Robert Rauschenberg), also leaving his distinctive mark on the art world. All of this took place while he was writing extensively about movement (he has produced more than 100 articles since 1970) and working tirelessly on improvised dance shows all over the world.

His work has influenced many choreographers and dancers, often to the extent that the origin of some of his researches has tended to become lost: the analysis and integration of everyday movements (such as walking), the importance of touch, weight and balance, and an openness to the non-technical body.

In Portugal, Steve Paxton and the Judson Dance Theater’s way of thinking had a decisive influence on many of those taking part in the movement that has come to be known as the New Portuguese Dance, and, in various ways, sharing their concerns about the relationship between art and everyday life. In the first few years of the new century, their work was presented in Lisbon on several occasions, and, in 2011, in an initiative promoted by CEM (centro em movimento), Steve Paxton presented the talk/demonstration Material for the Spine at Culturgest.

Based on this perspective, Culturgest presents the Steve Paxton cycle, which includes an exhibition curated by João Fiadeiro and Romain Bigé and the staging of some historical dance performances. But the Paxton programme doesn’t end here. The transverse nature of his work is further expressed in a series of five talks (the first of them given by Paxton himself) and two workshops about Contact Improvisation and Material for the Spine, with the involvement of schools and the transformation of the exhibition space into a performative arena.

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