Nita Little

Nita Little has been delving into the significance of improvisational dance actions the entirety of her professional career, which began with the emergence and development of Contact Improvisation (CI). Originally a modern dancer, she trained with José Limón and first generation Graham and Cunningham dancers as well as Judson pioneers including Judith Dunn, her mentor in ensemble improvisation. Her work with Steve Paxton was research generative of CI and she toured with him, developed teaching methodologies, performance practices, and conceptual understanding of the form. A practitioner/theorist, Little is a performer, choreographer, teacher, scholar and writer. She received her PhD in Performance Studies in 2014. This was an effort made because of the significance of the field of dance improvisation to the expansion of human knowledge through physical research into its creative and embodied potentials. Little explores physical/mental states in the physics of motion, relational and creative action, and the articulation of presence through ensemble improvisation and Contact Improvisation. She tours on a regular basis making work, performing, and teaching technical, relational, and creative skills to dance companies and at festivals and schools worldwide. Her writing investigates ecological actions of attention and the creative potentials present in entangled relations. In partnership with a diversity of theorists from fields including cognitive therapy, anthropology, psychology, she is developing a Seattle based Institute for the Study of Somatic Communication (ISSC) with a global network of ensemble dance research laboratories.