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  • Bibliography

    01. Bibliographie

    Describing Contact Improvisation is not an easy exercice. It’s the reason why this bibilography would help you to know more about it : the history, the context, the contents and research, etc. I tried to choose books or references related mostly in Contact Improvisation, but we know that other practices are connected to it.
    Information on the Web about CI is always evolving, so best to do is google search and see what comes up. There are texts in french and spanish but it’s mostly in english (you’re lucky!). You can send me proposal for keep this bibliography update and complete at communication@contactimpro.org !

    Rachel Billet

    Bibliography proposed by Dena Davida for CI 50

    03. Bibliographie pour lCI 50

    Bibliography proposed by Dena Davida for CI 25

    02. Bibliographie pour lCI 25

    To read


    • Revue Nouvelles de danse, édition Contredanse à Bruxelles :

      - n° 32/33 « On the Edge/Createurs de d’imprevu » (1998) Note: Special bi-lingual issue. Extensive interviews with Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Lisa Nelson, Julyen Hamilton, and many more American and European improvisation artists.

      - n° 38/39 : « Contact Improvisation » (1999)

      - n°44/45 Simone Forti, « Manuel en Mouvement » (2000)

      - n°46/47 Cathy De Plee, « Cours de Contact Improvisation par Nancy Stark Smith » , p114-122 (2001)

      - n°46/47 Aurore Después, « La relation pédagogique dans le Contact Improvisation: le partage en mouvement », p130-145 (2001)

      - n°46/47 Claire Destrée « L’utilisation du langage dans l’enseignement du Contact Improvisation. », p123-129 (2001)

      Note : souscription à www.contredanse.org
    • Contact Quarterly, a vehicule for moving ideas

      Note : Magazine semestriel consacré au CI, à l’improvisation et aux approches somatiques (édité auxEtats-Unis). Souscription à www.contactquarterly.com
    • Contact Quartely/CI 25th Anniversary Sourcebook Contact Editions, Northampton, MA (USA), 1997.

      Note : Xeroxed articles, essays, drawings, photos, and quotes directly concerning Contact Improvisation, reprinted from Contact Quarterly, 1975 through 1992. A rich collection of diverse ideas and views of contact improvisation - thought provoking, knowledgeable, and inspiring regardless of your skill level.
    • Contact Quartely/CI Sourcebook Volume 2, 1992–2007 Contact Editions, Northampton, MA (USA), 2008.

      Note : In celebration of Contact Improvisation’s 36th anniversary, we release this second volume—a multivoiced history of the dance form’s ongoing development, through articles, poems, exercises, writings, photos, and drawings about CI, printed in Contact Quarterly, 1992 through 2007.

    LIVRES (par ordre alphabétique d’auteur)


    • Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Sensing, Feeling, and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering®

      Note : "Movement educator Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen describes her innovative approach to movement analysis and reeducation through her collected articles and interviews from Contact Quarterly, 1980-1992." Many contact improvisers find that the practice of Body-Mind Centering® creates new possibilities in their dancing.
    • Sally Banes "Steve Paxton: Physical Things". Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-modern dance, Boston, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company (1977).

      Note: This is founding historical text on post-modern dance with the first text about the work of Steve Paxton. The introduction places Contact Improvisation in historical context, and includes chapters on Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, David Gordon, Deborah Hay and Lucinda Childs. A French language translation, Terpsichore en baskets, was published by Nouvelles de danse & Chiron/Centre National de la Danse, París, 105-124, (2002).
    • David Beadle Making contact. In Dance Teacher Now, September 1998, 77-82.
    • Adam Benjamin Natura facit saltum: natura dances, and so do disabled people; contact improvisation and Developments in America. A dance hose time had come: disabled people make an entrance. En Making an Entrance. Theory and Practice for Disabled and Non-Disabled Dancers Roudledge, London/NY, 30-35, (2002).
    • Agnes Benoit On the Edge Dialogues on Dance Improvisation in Performance, ed. Bilingual French-English Contredanse/Nouvelles de Danse (1997)

      Note : Devoted to improvisation as a performance form, this book consists of 14 interviews with dancers/improvisers whose creative process derives directly from instant composition: Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Lisa Nelson, Julyen Hamilton, Felice Wolfzahn, Pauline De Groot, K.J. Holmes, Suzanne Cotto, Simone Forti, David Zambrano, Mark Tompkins, Alessandro Certini, Frans Poelstra, and Katie Duck.
    • Déborah Borque Contribuciones del happening al Contact-Improvisation. DEA dirigido por Raúl Díaz Obregón, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. (2009)
    • Ann Brook, Contact Improvisation and Body-Mind Centering® A Manual for Teaching & Learning Movement self-published

      Note : A guide for developing the improvisational mind through a blend of play, fundamental BMC exercises, & CI skills.
    • Maria Paz Brozas, En torno a la definición del Contact Improvisation desde una triple perspectiva: coreográfica, acrobática y pedagógica. En Lecturas EFDeportes http://www.efdeportes.com Año 5, nº 22, junio 2000.
    • Melinda Buckwalter ,Composing While Dancing An Improviser’s Companion, University of Wisconsin Press (2011)

      Note : Dance improviser and coeditor of Contact Quarterly, Melinda Buckwalter mines her direct experience of the improvisational strategies of 26 pioneering contemporary dance artists and their varied approaches to this art form. With a mosaic of histories, methods, sample practices, source writings, and biographies of the artists, including Barbara Dilley, Simone Forti, Nina Martin, Mary Overlie, Steve Paxton, Min Tanaka, et al., Composing offers a much needed and inspiring resource for dancers and dance educators.


    • Marta Castañer & Carlotta Torrents Educación integral mediante el Contact Improvisation En Tándem. Didáctica de la Educación Física 26, 91-100, 2008.
    • Ann Cooper Albright, À corps ouverts. Changement et échange d’identités dans la Capoeira et le contact improvisation.
      En Protée -monográfico Danse et altérité-, otoño 2001, 39-47.
    • Ann Cooper Albright, Encounters with Contact Dancing Contact Improvisation in College, Contact Editions, Northampton, MA (USA)

      Note : Through a series of student writings and essays by established artists teaching in universities throughout the U.S., Encounters considers the unique experience of teaching and learning Contact within an educational institution. Included are sections on students’ first impressions, thoughts on the often surprising effects of touch within the dance, classroom exercises, the role of Contact in life after school, debate about institutional formats, a comic strip, and more.
    • Ann Cooper Albright Matters of Tact: Writing History from the Inside Out. In Dance Researsch Journal 35 and 36, Arts&Sciences III collection, p10-25 (14), 2004.
    • Ann Cooper Albrigth Moving Across Difference. Dance and Disabiliy. En Choreographing difference. The Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance Weslegan University Press, 56-92 (1997).
    • Ann Cooper Albright, Taken by Surprise. A Dance Improvisation Reader, David Gere (eds) Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Connecticut, 2003.

      Note : 21 essays by prominent practitioners and scholars reflecting the development of improvisation as a compositional and performance mode. Including considerations of contact improvisation, recent innovations in tap dancing, and improvisation in everyday life


    • Donna Devenport Working with play: improvising dance technique through improvisation in Dance Teacher Now Junio 1999, p85-88.


    • Véronique Fabri, Langage, sens et contact dans l’improvisation dansée. Dans Approche philosophique du geste dansé. De l’improvisation à la performance Anne Boissière & Catherine Kintezler (éds) Septentrion, Pas-de-Calais, 83-101 (2006).
    • Alma Falkenberg –síntesis de entrevista- Técnicas: Contact-Improvisation. En Tiempo de Danza 2, p38-39, 1995
    • Geisha Fontaine La composition instantanée En Les danses du temps CND, Pantin, 172-177 (2004) .
    • Simone Forti, Handbook in Motion by Simone Forti, The Presses of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and New York University.

      Note : An account of an ongoing personal discourse and its manifestations in dance.
    • Eric Franklin Contact Improvisation. Dans Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance. Human Kinetics, London, 57-59 (1996).


    • José Gil A comunicacao dos corpos: Steve Paxton . En Movimiento total. O corpo e a danca. Relogio d’agua, Lisboa, 131-156, (2001).


    • Anna Halprin, Mouvements de vie, 60 ans de recherches, création et de transformation par la danse, trad Elise Argaud et Denise Luccioni (2009)


    • Thomas Kaltenbrunner, Contact Improvisation: Moving, Dancing, Interaction, Aachen, Germany: Meyer und Meyer Publishing. (1998)
      Note: the first comprehensive book to offer a guide to teaching the form, with historical and philosophical frameworks, from a long-time teacher and practitioner.
    • David Koteen & Nancy Stark Smith, Caught Falling The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, and Other Moving Ideas, Contact Editions.

      Note : The inside-out of dancer/CQ editor Nancy Stark Smith’s life as seen through the kaleidoscope of the dance form Contact Improvisation. Includes Q&As between David and Nancy; photos of dancing & living; Talk Bubbles from friends, colleagues, and family; the Underscore; Nancy’s life stories; and more—fourteen years in the making.


    • Valérie Lehmann, Gardez le Contact. Fous de la danse, Paris (France), Autrement, mutations n°51, p170-173, 1983.

      Note: This insightful chapter on Contact Improvisation in Paris and in Montréal, from a Parisian dance critic and contact enthusiast, served to popularize the practice in France in the ’eighties.


    • Charlie Morrissey, Steve Paxton, Smith Scout Material for the spine: a three-way discussion. En Dance Teatre Journal vol. 20 nº 4, 24-28, 2005.


    • Cynthia J. Novack, Sharing the dance : contact improvisation and American culture, University of Wisconsin Press (1990), Madison, Wisconsin.

      Note : An insightful look at the development of Contact Improvisation within its web of historical, social, and cultural contexts.


    • Cheryl Pallant, Contact Improvisation. An Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance Form, McFarland & Compagny ,Inc. Jefferson, North California and London (2006).

      Note : A devoted practitioner writes about contact improvisation from an experiential viewpoint, discussing its history, fundamentals, and political, social, and cultural ramifications, with questions, exercises, a teacher’s sampler.
    • Steve Paxton, Material for the Spine, une étude de mouvement, édition Contredanse, Bruxelles (2008)

      Note : coffret comprenant un livre + un dvd bilingue (français/anglais), souscription à Contredanse : www.contredanse.org


    • F. Rizzo Con el sudor de tu frente. En Tiempo de Danza 16, 35-40, Buenos Aires (1998)
    • Céline Roux Improvisation et Contact Improvisation: dans une perspective exploratoire. En Danse (s) performative (s) L’Harmattan. Collection Le corps en question, 122-127 (2007).


    • C. Sionnet & J.F. Thirion Jeux de corps, corps accord…La danse Contact Improvisation, en EPS 205, 63-65, (1987).
    • C. Sionnet & J.F. Thirion Juegos corporales: La danza de contacto En Revista de Educación Física 17, 18-21, (1987).


    • Marina Tampini Contact Improvisation: cuerpo y pensamiento en danza. Tesis de Maestría dirigida por Cinthya Farina Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación. Universidad de la Plata (2009).
    • Torrents, Observation Category System of movement generation analysis in Contact Improvisation. En 21th World Congress on Dance Research, septembre 2007, 5-9, Atenas.


    • Isabelle Uski, Nature et enjeux du toucher dans la pratique du Contact Improvisation Département Danse, Université París 8 (2003).


    • Camila Villamil, Esferodinamia. En Tiempo de Danza 20, p45-46,(1999).


    • David Williams, Working (In) the In-between: Contact improvisation as an ethical practice. Writings on Dance. Winter 1996.
    • A. Wunder, Teaching Improvisation. Positive feedback (Section one). En Proximity Vol 1 Ed 3, septembre, pp 1-3 (1998).


    • Macias Zulai Improvisar. En El poder silencioso de la experiencia corporal en la danza contemporánea Artezblai, Bilbao, 137-138 (2010).
    • Raquel Zurdo, Danzando con-tacto. En Sánchez, Galo, Coterón, Javier, Gil, Javier, Sánchez, Antonio –Comps- El movimiento expresivo. II Congreso Internacional de Expresión Corporal y Educación. Amarú, Salamanca, 205-210 (2008).


    To watch

    VIDEOS (par ordre alphabétique de titre)

    • Chute, Contact éditions, Videoda, 1979. B & W. 9 min. 36 sec.
      Edit of the first Contact Improvisation demonstrations/-installation in NYC at the John Weber Gallery in 1972. Performers from N.Y.C.,
      University of Rochester, Oberlin College, and Bennington College. With narration by Steve Paxton describing some of the original concerns of the form, including falling.

      Script/Narration: Steve Paxton

      Camera: Steve Christiansen

      Editing: Christiansen, Lisa Nelson, Steve Paxton
    • Contact at 10th & 2nd, Contact édition, Videoda, 1983. Color. 49 min. 5 sec.

      Document of the 11th anniversary of Contact Improvisation performance at St. Mark’s Church in N.Y.C. with dancers from England, Canada, and the U.S.

      Performers: Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Kirstie Simson, David Appel, Peter Ryan, Alan Ptashek, Robin Feld

      Cameras: Lisa Nelson, Christina Svane, Cathy Weis

      Editing: Lisa Nelson
    • Fall After Newton, Contact édition, Videoda,1987. Color and B&W. 22 min. 45 sec.

      A sweeping look at 11 years of practice of Contact Improvisation by Nancy Stark Smith and initiator, Steve Paxton. The progression from its beginnings in 1972 through successive years of performances up to 1983 shows one strand of the development of this multifaceted duet dance form.

      Featured performers: Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith
      Script/Narration: Steve Paxton

      Editing: Steve Christiansen, Lisa Nelson, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith
    • Magnesium, Contact éditions, Videoda,1972. B & W. 9 min. 30 sec.

      Note : Document of a dance by Steve Paxton in 1972. This piece is often referred to as the seminal work for Contact Improvisation. Video by Steve Christiansen. Performers: John Faichney, Steve Paxton, Chris Peck, Curt Siddall, Peter Walsh, Doug Winter, and others
    • Peripheral Vision, Contact édition, Videoda,1975. B & W. 21 min. 5 sec.

      Edit of a Contact Improvisation concert at Firehouse Theater in San Francisco, CA in 1973, "You Come, We’ll Show You What We Do."
      Commentary analyzes what is visible and memorable in the dancing from the point of view of 1975.

      Performers: Steve Christiansen, Steve Paxton, Nita Little, Nancy Stark Smith, Karen Radler

      Commentary: Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Christiansen

      Camera: Steve Christiansen

      Editing: Steve Christiansen, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith
    • Soft Pallet, Contact édition, Videoda, 1979. B & W. 18 min.

      Selections from a Contact Improvisation concert in Rome at L’Attico Gallery in 1973.

      Performers: Annette LaRoque, David Woodberry, Steve Paxton, Mary Fulkerson, Nancy Stark Smith, Danny Lepkoff

      Camera: Steve Christiansen

      Editing: Steve Christiansen, Lisa Nelson

    Bibliographie compilée par Rachel Billet communication@contactimpro.org.Un grand merci à Patricia Kuypers, Dena Davida et Ma Paz Brozas pour leur soutien.

    Sources :
     Archives de Tangente - laboratoire de mouvements contemporains www.tangente.qc.ca
     Contact éditions* http://www.contactquarterly.com/

    *Contact Editions: "produces, publishes, distributes, and promotes non-periodical new dance literature." Here is where to find books on contact improvisation and a variety of subjects that many contact improvisers find interesting.
     Mª Paz Brozas Polo depuis Leon (Nord de l’Espagne)

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