Lucy Suggate & Steve Paxton | Recording available

Lucy Suggate & Steve Paxton


Lucy Suggate & Steve Paxton | Live Conversation with Q&A

14.00 - 15.30 | Thursday 20 May 2021

As part of their involvement in Dance Base Scotland's time to respond residency [curated by Two Destination Language] Lucy Suggate conducted a research project titled 21 Senses To Go. This departure point was brought about by a stay-at-home rifle through the bookcase and re reading a small booklet, collections of notes called Gravity By Steve Paxton.

For some reason, Lucy was particularly drawn to this sentence:

The senses in our age figure very much as entertainment equipment rather than as survival tools. We take them to the beach, to films, and out to dine. In the 1970’s I read that 26 senses have been detected.” Paxton is referring to a book written called. The Senses Considered As Perceptual Systems. By JJ. Gibson.

Lucy became very curious about the other 20 plus senses Paxton, Gibson (et al) are referring to. What potential are we missing out on by not attending fully to all our senses and what is a sense anyway?

After some deliberation, Lucy rather cheekily invited Steve to help her in this research and have a conversation around his notes and her curiosity. You are invited to join them as they discuss the other 21 senses and their collaboration on time to tespond.

The Catalytic Conversations programme invites two dance artists to join in conversation to explore their practice, their experience and anything else they would like to discuss together, and opens the doors for us to listen in. Dance Base has a long standing commitment to embracing international exchange and while one of the artists will be based in Scotland the other will be based outside of the UK. All conversations will be hosted online and run for 60 minutes with space for 30 minutes of questions from the audience. We look forward to welcoming you along!


Artist Bios

Steve Paxton

Paxton began his movement studies in gymnastics and then trained in martial arts, ballet, and modern dance. In the summer of 1958, Paxton attended the American Dance Festival at Connecticut College, where he trained with choreographers Merce Cunningham and José Limón. After moving to New York City, he was a member of the José Limón Company in 1959 and a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1961 to 1964. He was a founding member of the dance collectives Judson Dance Theatre and Grand Union (with Yvonne Rainer, Barbara Lloyd, Nancy Lewis, David Gordon, Douglas Dunn, and Trisha Brown). Throughout his career, Paxton's singular investigation of improvisation has opened new ideas in creating and composing choreographic work. During his time with Grand Union, Paxton first formulated Contact Improvisation, a dynamic, partner-based movement that is now practiced worldwide. From Contact Improvisation, he developed Material for the Spine in 1986, a practice that examines movement outward from the core of the body

Paxton has been a contributing editor to Contact Quarterly and published the DVD Material for the Spine in 2008.

In 2014 Paxton was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance at the Venice Biennale and in 2015 Paxton was awarded the Bessie for lifetime achievement.


Lucy Suggate

Lucy is a dance artist and choreographer. Making working since 2003 she is recognized for her articulate and engaging solo performances as well as choreographic installations and public scores inspired by aspects of synchronicity and cooperation.

Her movement practice is an ongoing inquiry into the perceptual and physical expansion that occurs when engaged in long- term moving and thinking.

A lot of her current focus is around occupying different spaces to practice in, investigating artistic sustainability and revisioning future dance models as ethical, dynamic and flexible operations.


Supported by Creative Scotland with funding from Scottish Government.

Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council