Steve Paxton / Jurij Konjar Bound


A founder member of the Judson Church Theater - a group of choreographers that revolutionized the way we looked at dance during the 1960’s, extending choreographic syntax into everyday movements and gestures - Steve Paxton developed a true philosophy of improvisation. It required the performer to fully commit to - or be in contact with - the present moment, and took shape in the form of “contact improvisation”. In 2013, Steve Paxton was asked to present a solo work, and this was when he uncovered two videos containing footage of Bound, one of his previous works, filmed in New York in 1983. These two videos, two states or renderings of the same work, became the basis for its reconstruction. Accompanied by the dancer Jurij Konjar, he set about bringing the same states of mind and body that had participated in its original creation, back into the present.    

Bound belongs to that area of Steve Paxton’s work that mixes abstract structures, linked to improvisation, with more explicit levels of composition - and in which fragments of decor, costume, and disparate layers of sound appear. Oscillating between dance and moments of interiority, the figure that he embodies is never quite at the centre. Rather, it is an unstable centre - like a radio tuned in to different frequencies. As the different sequences accumulate, they draw up a bigger picture - confronting us with a flow of symbols bringing fragments of a world racked by war. Bound, then, in the sense of linking moments, states, and reproducing different situations. As a piece of work, Bound situates itself between things, moments... and in which Jurij Konjar’s body snakes its way, like a tightrope walker, between the images it (re)generates.