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Nancy Stark Smith & Mike Vargas

Nancy Stark Smith & Mike Vargas
NANCY STARK SMITH first trained as an athlete and gymnast, leading her to study and perform modern and postmodern dance in the early 1970s. She danced in the first performances of Contact Improvisation with Steve Paxton and others in 1972 in NYC and has since been central to its development as dancer, teacher, performer, writer/publisher, and organizer. She travels worldwide teaching and performing Contact and other improvised dance work with many favorite dance partners and performance makers including Karen Nelson, Julyen Hamilton, Andrew Harwood, Jeff Bliss, Peter Bingham, and musician Mike Vargas. In 1975, she cofounded Contact Quarterly dance and improvisation journal, which she continues to coedit, produce, and publish. Her first book, Caught Falling was released in 2008. She lives in western Massachusetts.

MIKE VARGAS began playing music in 1959. His curiosity and love of collaboration have led him through many contexts and cultures, from cocktail lounges in Indonesia to New York's Lower East Side, from cancer wards to the Kennedy Center. He started specializing in music for dance in 1978. He also works as a freelance composer across the USA and internationally, performing, teaching, recording, and improvising. For the last 10 years he has been teaching and performing with Nancy Stark Smith. He teaches on the faculty of the Smith College dance department. He has released 9 CD's.
Intensive teachers   CI classes teachers   Special Workshops teachers
Charlie Morrissey Adrian Russi Eckhard Müller and Daniela Schwartz
Eckhard Müller & Daniela Schwartz Caroline Waters Ester Momblant-Ribas
Ilanit Tadmor Alexandra Bezrodnova Nancy Stark Smith & Mike Vargas
Nancy Stark Smith & Mike Vargas Elske Seidel Steve Batts
  Ilanit Tadmor  
  Jean-Hugues Miredin   
  Lior Ophir  
  Manuela Blanchard  
  Mike Vargas  
  Robert Anderson  
  Alexey & Anastasia Saevich  
  Alexander Girshon  
Nancy Stark Smith & Mike Vargas

«States of Grace: Simple, Complex, Simple»

About master-class:

A workshop for experienced contact improvisors that combines contact improvisation (CI), improvisation, composition, contemplation, and listening practice—integrated within the study and practice of the Underscore, a long jamming/CI/improvisation score that Nancy has been developing since 1990 (for details, see Underscore description in Festival info.)

Combining our practice of contact improvisation and the Underscore with the pleasure and discipline of detailed listening to sound, we will move with many species of Mike’s live and recorded music to develop conscious, varied relationships between what we hear and how we move, expanding our awareness to include visual and sonic compositions.

Simple, complex, simple. During the workshop we will continue to deepen and refine our dancing in contact improvisation through skills, scores, and open dancing—finding, developing, and integrating more ways to focus and enjoy our dancing, listening, and improvising in and out of contact.

Nancy’s longtime collaborator, composer/improviser Mike Vargas, will be co-teaching the workshop through his music and his point of view, informed by 30+ years of working with dance of all kinds, the last 10 years with Nancy and CI.