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Historical Events that Impacted Contact Improvisation Essay

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Historical Events that Impacted Contact Improvisation


Dance has evolved greatly throughout the centuries. It began with ballet and has led up to contact improvisation. This form of dance begun in the early 1970's and was started by a man named Steve Paxton and a group of postmodern dancers from New York City. Contact improvisation is a partnering form of dance and known as the art of moving spontaneously with a group or another person. This form of dance does not require the exact set of traditional skills of other dance form, it doesn’t have a technique that could be studied, and it is practiced in order to accomplish the highest potential. Contact improvisation came at a great time period, which of course was the 70's. The main historical events that were taking place then were the Watergate Scandal, the end of the Cold War, and the Vietnam War.

The Watergate Scandal was a very important and altering event in our nation’s history. The Watergate Scandal was during a presidential campaign when DC police arrested five men caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in a residence complex, the Watergate. Eventually, the scandal got back to Nixon and they realized that he was behind it. Then the House of Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment, which were Nixon’s abusing of power, obstructing justice, and defying Judiciary Committee subpoenas. Before Nixon was impeached he resigned from the presidency on August 9, 1974. After this happened people had less confidence in the nation and Americans became suspicious of the government. This scandal I think had little affect on contact improvisation. They might have started this because they were showing their anger or unt...


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... better way for people to express their emotions. First of all, improvisation is dancing what your feeling or thinking at that time so that expresses your emotions, and therefore contact improvisation would be more effective to get your feelings out on war.

In conclusion, contact improvisation was a very big development especially for its time period. It is a partnering form and known as an art of moving spontaneously with another person. Steve Paxton began contact improvisation during the early 1970s. The events that were going on in the United States during the 70s had a great impact on contact improvisation. The main historical events during the 70s were the Watergate Scandal, the end of the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. Contact improvisation has been a source of many new understandings in dancing and it has affected a lot of contemporary choreography.


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