Nancy Stark Smith

Nancy Stark Smith danced in the first performances of Contact Improvisation in 1972 with Steve Paxton and others and has been central to CI’s development as dancer, teacher, performer, writer/publisher, and organizer. Nancy has traveled extensively throughout the world teaching and performing Contact and other improvised dance work with many favorite dance partners and performance makers, including musician Mike Vargas.
In 1975, she co-founded Contact Quarterly, an international journal of dance and improvisation, which she continues to co-edit and publish. Nancy’s work is featured in several books and films, and she has been developing the Underscore, a long-form dance improvisation structure, since 1990. Her first book, Caught Falling, came out in 2008. She continues to explore the bodymind states that are generated while dancing, the life cycle of form as it manifests in improvisation, and how any of this research can be communicated in performance and in print.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts