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"Yes, Nancy you have gone, but obituaries are forever." --Steve Paxton
Celebrating the Life of Nancy Stark Smith (1952 - 2020)
Honoring Nancy Stark Smith
--Remembrances from 1978 founding members of Contact Collaborations/Contact Quarterly: Lisa Nelson, Steve Paxton, Daniel Lepkoff and Christina Svane.
--Also includes "Links to Materials by and about Nancy on our site and beyond"
Daily Hampshire Gazette - ‘Dancing fearlessly with her long braid swinging in the air’: Remembering local legend Nancy Stark Smith
"She was a friend and mentor to many and an inspiration to countless others, a dancer and a teacher who gave currency to a new form of contemporary dance — Contact Improvisation — that embraced elements of touch, improvisation and spirituality."
"...Stark Smith became one of the biggest disciples of this work and likely did more to spread it around the world than anyone through her performances, her teaching and her work with Contact Quarterly, which became an important forum for dancers to share their experiences. "
Reflections on Nancy Stark Smith (thINKing DANCE)
"Internationally known dancer, editor, writer, organizer and a collaborating founder of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, died on May 1st after an extraordinary life of fearlessly exploring new ways of making art, breaking gender norms, and communicating the ephemeral body-mind states of experiences of dance. She was in the initial group working with Steve Paxton, who originated Contact Improvisation, along with Nita Little, Daniel Lepkoff, Barbara Dilley, Mary Fulkerson, and Nancy Topf, among others. Influenced by the ground-breaking dance-theater experiments in improvisation of the Grand Union and Judson Dance Theater, she ignited a new revolution after the first public performance of Contact Improvisation in New York City in 1972 by propagating the work world-wide in a myriad of ways. " --Jonathan Stein
Obituary - New York Times
"Nancy Stark, age 68, a writer, editor, and dancer who co-founded the contemporary dance form called Contact Improvisation, died of ovarian cancer at home in Florence, MA, on Friday, May 1, 2020...She grew up petite, a free spirit, an athlete and a gymnast with a signature long swinging braid of hair. In 1975, Stark Smith co-founded the movement's international dance journal, Contact Quarterly, which she has co-edited for 45 years with choreogapher Lisa Nelson. Up through this year, she performed and taught on five continents. In 1990, she developed the Underscore, a long- form dance improvisation structure. Each year since 2000 there has been a "Global Underscore" practiced simultaneously in as many as 70 cities all over the world..."
New York Times (Dance) - Nancy Stark Smith, a Founder of Contact Improvisation, Dies at 68
"She helped develop and popularize a dance form that is both artful and athletic, focusing on touch, gravity and weight sharing."
Ms. Stark Smith wrote in Contact Quarterly in 1996. “As a contact improviser, I’ve been a reflex junkie, a momentum freak; loving to feel the adrenaline rush, test and take to the turbulent waters with a partner, seeking our limits: of body, mind and communication.”