a good-bye to Steve Paxton

„Gravity´s effect on all our tissues, on the very water in our cells, suggests to me that it can be thought of as a complex array of events, which in combination produce a general sense of „me“, moving or still. Alter a few of those events, even mentally or emotionally, and the qualities of the relationship to gravity will change.“ Steve Paxton in Gravity, 2018

Steves livelong research and work created deep imprints in many people. I can´t imagine how my life would be if CI would not be existing or if I would have never encountered Contact Improvisation. It deeply changed my life and I am so grateful for this. I met Steve maybe twice, in the end of the 1990s in Potsdam and in Berlin and almost 2007 in Sao Paolo, where he was to teach Material of the spine. Unfortunately the workshop got shifted several times due to Visa issues.
His voice in text and videos probably let to more impact and still is impacting me.
As the first generation has left us or is leaving us, it feels like there is more respansability in how we share CIs knowledge, how we keep „tradition“ and where we integrate.
As these times of crisis right now are challenging, so where the 1970s with the Vietnam war. In my mourning and remembering, I was also thinking about the beginnings of CI. On the friday Sudsternjam, we were seeing „Magnesium“. Bodies moving disorientated and falling. A film that shows the beginning of CI and is so different to the dances that we see in jams today. Still Disorientation is a big thing in CI. Allowing Disorientation to be with one is already a thing. Being in Disorientation and not knowing is another. Trusting another body in dance while being disorientated, but knowing where gravity is and knowing how to be in that relationship with the earth and the partner, is the amazement of Contact Improvisation. Today I opened Ann Cooper Albright „How to land“ and would like to share a quote from the book: „moments of disorientation- be they personal, communal, economic, or political – can become opportunities to rethink our habitual way of being in the world.“
Hopefully Steves transition can be an opportunity for Contact community to gather and mourn together and with that coming together, can we also take time to reorient and to feel what is important in these times.

Can we feel how gravity is supporting us? Can we be in relation with the center of the earth, no matter what? Can we use our senses to relate to ourselves, but not only, but to the environment? Can we use our muscles and bones to move and act to what is needed? Can we support each other? Can we move towards the unknown in the dance and in life? Can we act so that we can stop the desaster that is already so real in this world?

I am not sure if that is what Steve would like us to do. But it is my deep desire and as Contact Improvisation is not a dance that happens alone, change need more people, needs community.

Thank you Steve, for what you brought to the world. Have a good transition in a place where there maybe in no gravity to relate to?