Nancy Stark Smith - Express Train to States of Grace

Event Type
Event Description

3 Day Workshop:  "Express Train to States of Grace" . May 4-6
Contact Improvisation, Embodiment, and Collaboration

produced by The Watering Can Dance

Thurs, May 4, 10 am- 6 pm@ Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater (1.5 hr lunch break)           Fri, May 5, 10 am - 6 pm @ Hamlin (1.5 hr lunch break)                                                     Sat, May 6, 10-11:30 am @ Links Hall. 1-4:30 pm @ Hamlin (1.5 hr lunch break)

$225 (early bird, before April 3). $250 (after April 3). 

"States of Grace" is what can happen when all balls are in the air at once: solo dancing, contact improvisation, non-CI improvisation, composition, contemplation, listening, performance/art, mystery, and humanity. Can we work from deep somatic absorption and compositional awareness at the same time? Can we access and change physical, energetic, and conceptual states easily and as called for? This three-day workshop aims to weave these strands into satisfying, focused, curious, embodied, and engaged solo, duo and group improvisations.

participants should have previous experience with contact improvisaton. Please send a few sentences to Jessie Marasa at about your experience with CI as well as other improvisational forms.

please note enrollment is limited, once limit is reached enrollment will be closed

NANCY STARK SMITH first trained as an athlete and gymnast, leading her to study and perform modern and postmodern dance, greatly influenced by the Judson Dance Theater breakthroughs of the 1960s in New York City. She danced in the first performances of Contact Improvisation in 1972 with Steve Paxton and others and has since been central to its development as dancer, teacher, performer, writer/publisher, and organizer. She has traveled extensively throughout the world teaching and performing Contact and other improvised dance work with Paxton and many other favorite dance partners and performance makers, including Ray Chung, Julyen Hamilton, Karen Nelson, and musician Mike Vargas. She co-founded Contact Quarterly, an international dance journal, in 1975 which she continues to co-edit and produce along with other dance literature. Her work is featured in several books and films, and she has been developing the Underscore, a long-form dance improvisation structure, since 1990. Her first book, Caught Falling: The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas, with David Koteen, came out in 2008. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary


Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater

Hamlin Park Theater, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse 3035 N. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 880-5402