Downtown Center for Contemporary Arts, part of Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts (commonly called REDCAT), will present the Los Angeles premiere of Steve Paxton’s signature work Bound.
A pioneering American choreographer, Paxton designed it in 1982 and will be performed by exquisite dancer Jurij Konjar of Slovenia. Bound is restaged and reimagined by Paxton for 2016.
The choreography is a stellar example of Paxton’s 40 years of research into the fiction of cultured dance and the ‘truth’ of improvisation. It’s a performance composed of isolated vignettes, combined with eclectic music and images that are not immediately logical. But like the numbers in a column that begin to add up to something larger as they accumulate, these seemingly unchoreographed dance “remarks” soon resonate poetic thoughts.
Paxton who has won many awards describes it as “like a chance meeting with a slightly drunken man in a quiet bar, where a conversation begins and gradually a disjointed story emerges, of a life lived, one moment after another, but now remembered as fragments of a journey.”
Bound was created for Spaziozero in Rome. It was seen in the U.K., Belgium, and at the Kitchen in New York in 1983, which made a videotape on which this reconstruction is based. Konjar formed a unique collaboration with Paxton following an accident in which Konjar suffered a traumatic brain injury. He used improvisation and investigations into Paxton’s work in his subsequent recovery. Bound continues both artists’ interest in improvisational dance and finding the potential of the present moment.
Performance runs from May 11 to May 13 at 8:30 pm.
Steve Paxton has influenced the nature of Western Dance since 1961, as a founder of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. He has researched the fiction of cultured dance and the ‘truth’ of improvisation for 40 years. 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 New York Bessie Awards, and is a contributing editor to Contact Quarterly Dance Journal.
He founded the Grand Union, Contact Improvisation, Touchdown Dance for the visually disabled in the UK, and began his career studying modern dance techniques, like 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 U.S. and Europe. Yvonne Rainer likes to joke that she invented running and Paxton invented walking, and indeed many of Paxton’s early works – including “Proxy”, 1961, “Transit”, 1962, “English”, 1963, and “Satisfyin Lover”, 1967 – made salient the act of walking. Paxton is also known as a founder of the movement technique known as contact improvisation.
Jurij Konjar was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he received his first technical dance training. He then studied musicals in London and contemporary dance at PARTS in Brussels. He’s worked with Les Ballets C de la B, before starting to create his own work. In 2007, he suffered a head injury that shifted his focus toward the potential of the present moment. In 2009, an in-depth observation of Steve Paxton’s Goldberg Variations video, with conversations that sprouted from it, triggered the development of a personal improvisation practice. In recent years, Konjar has mostly created and performed solo performances, such as Ulysses (2007), Goldberg Variations (2010) and For Juliano Mer-Khamis (2013), while also working with Maja Delak, Janez Janša, Boris Charmatz, Martin Kilvady. He’s worked with the Tuning Ensemble with Lisa Nelson on the Goldberg Observations publication. Konjar lives by moving around, with his working practice serving as his base.
Performed by Jurij Konjar
Choreographed by Steve Paxton
Music: Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir, The Canadian Brass, various soundscapes
Bound is presented in association with Show Box L.A.
Tickets and info at: http://www.redcat.org/event/steve-paxton-bound
Or call the box office 213-237-2800.