Steve Paxton (born 1939, Phoenix, Arizona) is an experimental dancer and choreographer. His early background was in gymnastics while his later training included three years with Merce Cunningham and a year with José Limón. As a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater, he performed works by Yvonne Rainer and Trisha Brown. He was a founding member of the experimental group Grand Union and in 1972 named and began to develop the dance form known as Contact Improvisation, a form of dance that utilizes the physical laws of friction, momentum, gravity, and inertia to explore the relationship between dancers.
Paxton believed that even an untrained dancer could contribute to the dance form, and so began his great interest in pedestrian movement. After working with Cunningham and developing chance choreography, defined as any movement being his generation whose approach has influenced choreography globally. In 1994, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. He attempts to remain reclusive, except when performing, teaching and choreographing internationally.
Famous quotes containing the words paxton and/or steve:
“Mr. Marriott: Im afraid I dont like your manner.
Philip Marlowe: Yeah, Ive had complaints about it but it keeps getting worse.”
—John Paxton (19111985)
“Yknow plenty of people, in their right mind, thought they saw things that didnt exist, yknow, like flying saucers. The light was just right, and the angle and the imagination. Oh boy, if thats what it is, then this is just an ordinary night. You and I are going to go home and go to sleep and tomorrow when we get up that suns gonna shine. Just like yesterday. Good ol yesterday.”
—Theodore Simonson. Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.. Steve Andrews (Steven McQueen)