Material for the spine

Material for the Spine – Steve Paxton (DVD-rom)


A Movement Study

Produced by Contredanse

In 1986, dancer Steve Paxton began examining the spine he had observed in the practice of Contact Improvisation, a duet movement form he had instigated in 1972. Material for the Spine immerses us in this artist’s world for the first time, to experience the logic and invention at the core of his technique. The system of MFS is a meditative study of spinal and pelvic movement initiations combining a technical approach with an improvisational process. The fruit of four collaborative years with Paxton, these audio-visual essays deal with concepts such as gravity, weight, walking, the back, and improvisation, utilizing video imagery, motion capture sequences, extracts from lectures, classes, workshops, and archival footage of performances.In addition, each of the forms of the Material for the Spine technique is detailed in the interactive videos.

With Material for the Spine, I am interested in alloying a technical approach to the processes of improvisation. It is a system for exploring interior and exterior muscles of the back. It aims to bring consciousness to the dark side of the body, that is, the ‘other’ side, or the inside, those sides not much self-seen, and to submit sensations from them to the mind for consideration.”

-Steve Paxton