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Figure Space
Lisa Nelson and Steve Paxton

A 6-week intensive Workshop Series
Three 2-week sessions over the course of a year

November 6 - 18, 2011 Steve Paxton
April 15 - 27, 2012 Lisa Nelson
November 4 - 16, 2012 Lisa Nelson & Steve Paxton

Participation Limited
A few spots are still available

© Gil Grossi, performance of Night Stand, Brazil 2006

November 6 - 18, 2011: Session 1: Steve Paxton. Material For the Spine uses a technical approach to explore the sensations of the center of the body.

April 15 - 27, 2012: Session 2: Lisa Nelson. The Tuning Scores research composition, communication, and the sense of imagination.

November 4 - 16, 2012: Sesion 3: Paxton and Nelson combine these unique approaches to cultivate the compositional and performance possibilities that arise from these roots of dance motivation.

Each 2 week session begins with arrival on Sunday evening and departure on the final Friday afternoon.Workshop sessions will be Monday - Friday, with the middle weekend off. [Returning students or those who were on the waitlist for either Steve or Lisa's former workshops at Earthdance will be given first preference for enrollment.]

Individual workshop participation is not an option. All participants must take the full series.



The Tuning Score, a performance research format, asks what do we see when we're looking at dance. How does composition arise in the body and its environment? The research focuses on the physical base of the imagination. By altering the way we use our senses while moving and watching movement, we can begin to tease apart the genetic and acquired patterns our senses use to construct our experience. We will look at the ways these patterns influence how and why we move, shape our interaction with our inner and outer environments, and inform our desire for action and what we see when we are attending to anything.

Focusing on vision, touch, and hearing, the scores provoke spontaneous compositions that make evident our opinions about space, time, and action and provide tools and a framework for communication and collaboration amongst us.

LISA NELSON is a dance-maker, improvisational performer, and collaborative artist who has been exploring the role of the senses in the performance and observation of movement since the early '70s. Stemming from her work with video and dance, she developed an approach to spontaneous composition and performance she calls Tuning Scores. She performs, teaches and creates dances in diverse spaces on many continents, and maintains long-term collaborations with other artists, including Steve Paxton, Daniel Lepkoff, Cathy Weis, Scott Smith, and Image Lab--a Tuning Score performance ensemble. She's received various encouragements along the way, including a NY Bessie Award and an Alpert Award in the Arts. She has co-edited Contact Quarterly dance and improvisation journal since 1977. She lives in Vermont.



is a simple dancing system based in sensation and evolved self-imagery for the skeletal elements of head, spine and pelvis. In otherwords, an exploration of the center of the body. The Material is abstracted from Contact Improvisation, which will be used in the class to some extent, but Material is more technical and meditative, with emphasis on breathing and precise exercises done solo. Connections may be noticed to extant dance techniques, and their mostly unstated use of the pelvis. Material for the Spine cannot avoid the rest of the body: so far it has extended to the hip sockets and thighs, the shoulder blades and arms. 

STEVE PAXTON has researched the fiction of cultured dance and the 'truth' of improvisation for 40 years. He lives on a farm, and he has received grants from Change, Inc., the Foundation for Performance Arts, John D.Rockefeller Fund, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been awarded two NY Bessie Awards, and is a contributing editor to Contact Quarterly dance journal. He was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater, Grand Union, Contact Improvisation, Touchdown Dance for the visually disabled (UK), and began his career studying modern dance techniques, ballet, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and Vipassana meditation. He performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. from 1961-65. He lectures, performs, choreographs and teaches primarily in the USA and Europe. IN 2008, he Lisa Nelson performed ' Night Stand ' in Spain, and he published a DVD-rom, Material for the Spine , with Contredanse in Brussels. In 2009 he re-choreographed ' Ave Nue ' (1985) in Amsterdam, and toured Japan, including ' Night Stand ' in Tokyo. In 2010 he performed “ The Beast ”, a solo on ‘Unrelated Solos” with Mikhail Baryshnikov and David Neumann at BAC in New York. With Contredanse of Brussels, he, Florence Corin and Baptiste Andrien have developed the Phantom Exhibition , a multi-image room of meditations on Material for the Spine.


Total Workshop Series Fee includes Tuition plus Standard Room and Board.

Entire 3 Workshop Series Tuition:
   Student Rate: $1,500 for the series
   Regular Rate: $1,650 for the series
   Professional Rate: $1,800 for the series

Room & Board: $1,440 total for the series

Payment Schedule:
Initial Deposit Required*: $250
Second Payment: $1,000 by July 6, 2011
Third Payment: $1,000 by January 16, 2012
Final Payment: Remaining balance by August 6, 2012

Full Balance may be paid at any time (credit card payments other than the deposit amount will incur an additional 3% processing fee)

*Your application will not be complete until we receive your deposit. If you are accepted this deposit is nonrefundable and nontransferrable, unless the workshop is full and we are able to replace your space. If you are not accepted to the workshop series your deposit will be refunded to you.



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