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Steve Paxton

April 20 - 25, 2015 / Nouvel Building, Protocol Room, Auditorium 200 and Auditorium 400

3€ (in the Museum box office) and 3,75€ (online). Tickets will be available from April 17

After organising activities with Merce Cunningham and Simone Forti, the Museo Reina Sofía presents the work of choreographer and dancer Steve Paxton (USA, 1939), a central figure in the development of contemporary dance and the creator of contact improvisation. Paxton, a key performer in Merce Cunningham’s dance company during its most productive period in the 1960s, was a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater, together with Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, David Gordon, Deborah Hay and Lucinda Childs, and the group Grand Union in 1973.

Yvonne Rainer joked how she invented running and Paxton invented walking and indeed, the daily act of walking is a core part of many of his early pieces, for instance Proxy (1961), Transit (1962), English (1963) and Satisfyin Lover (1967). At the beginning of the 1970s, Paxton also started to develop a form of dance called contact improvisation, based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to space and the physical laws that govern their movement (inertia, momentum, weight). The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and experience the natural flow of movement.

On this occasion, a solo devised by Paxton entitled Bound will be reconstructed and performed, for the first time in Spain, by Jurij Konjar. This piece is also accompanied by a workshop held by Konjar and a conversation with Steve Paxton. Bound was created in 1982 for the Spazio Zero, Rome, and performed in Great Britain, Belgium and, one year later, at The Kitchen in New York, where the recording this reconstruction is based on was carried out.

Bound combines improvised dance episodes with theatrical actions. It is a dance piece made up of vignettes, each one isolated, but, like numbers in a row, it starts to become something greater as they accumulate. Some episodes are dry but resonate poetic thoughts. Some are unchoreographed dance remarks. The music is eclectic, and the images are not immediately logical. Perhaps, as Paxton writes, it is like a chance meeting with a slightly drunken man in a quiet bar. You begin to make conversation, and gradually his disjointed story emerges, lived, as lives are, one moment after another, but now remembered as fragments of a journey, finally to explain how he came to be sitting alone, elbows on a bar and a glass in hand, talking to you.

3€ (in the Museum box office) and 3,75€ (online). Tickets will be available from April 17

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Program

Jurij Konjar, in Bound. Dance, 1982

April 20 - 22, 2015 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Workshop with Jurij Konjar

Via email at artesenvivo2@museoreinasofia.es, until full capacity is reached.
Send CV and cover letter.
List of accepted applicants

Jurij Konjar, who performs Bound , is conducting a workshop that works on three levels: bodily sensations, mental information and the ethics of dialogue.

In the words of the dancer: I’d like to challenge participants to hold a conversation with an old friend, thinking about the movements of the body from a new perspective. We assume the natural state of the body is movement. I can direct it, transform it, guide it and even deny it; what I can’t do is avoid it. From this perspective, movement is not something you have to fight against; the only thing I have to do is observe (and guide?) what is happening. What I suggest is taking a step back to observe the diverse processes we call “dance” before they take shape. With more similarities than differences, we – people – share a playground; where we carry ourselves with elements such as space, memory, music, necessity, bodily capacity, panic, interpretations of our senses, interpretations of our classmates, etc. The workshop is suitable for all those who perceive the world through change, and for those that aspire to be beginners again.

Jurij Konjar (Ljubljana) is a dancer and choreographer. In 2009, after seeing Steve Paxton’s Goldberg Variations and conversing with its creator, he devised a personal improvisation practice.
In recent years he has worked as a solo artist, collaborating at the same time with Maja Delak, Janez Janša, Boris Charmatz and Martin Kilvady. He is also the performer of Bound.

Steve Paxton. Photography by Monika Rittershaus

April 23, 2015 - 7:00 p.m.

Steve Paxton in conversation

Free, until full capacity is reached

In dialogue with João Fernandes, the deputy director of the Museo Reina Sofía, this encounter is set out as a conversation between both, not only running through the milestones of an extensive career, but also reflecting on the new relationship between dance and contemporary art promoted by the Museo.

Steve Paxton. Bound. Danza, 1982. Interpretado por Jurij Konjar

24 - 25 abril, 2015 - 20:00 h

Bound

Tickets: 3 €, on sale at the Museum's website from April 17 (+ 0.75 € administration fee per ticket) and at the box office 

Bound was created in 1982 for the Spazio Zero in Rome, and performed in Great Britain, Belgium and, one year later, at The Kitchen in New York, where the recording this reconstruction is based on was carried out. Bound combines improvised dance episodes with theatrical actions. It is a dance piece made up of vignettes, each one isolated, but, like numbers in a row, it starts to become something greater as they accumulate. Some episodes are dry but resonate poetic thoughts. Some are unchoreographed dance remarks. The music is eclectic, and the images are not immediately logical. Perhaps, as Paxton writes, it is like a chance meeting with a slightly drunken man in a quiet bar. You begin to make conversation, and gradually his disjointed story emerges, lived, as lives are, one moment after another, but now remembered as fragments of a journey, finally to explain how he came to be sitting alone, elbows on a bar and a glass in hand, talking to you.