“Material For The Spine is a system. It attempts to examine the spine of Contact Improvisation.”
Steve Paxton, 2008

TanzFabrik, Berlin

Steve Paxton developed Material for the Spine in 1986 as an exploration of the movement possibilities within the muscles surrounding the spine, as well as the connections between the head, pelvis, and vertebrae. This solo practice is supported by specific exercises, body puzzles and ideokinetic imagery. It helps to strengthen the foundation of a person’s movement. Otto Ramstad followed Steve Paxton’s work of contact improvisation since 1996 and Paxton’s Material For The Spine since 2010. He will lead this introductory workshop to Material for the Spine incorporating his background as a performer, Contact Improviser and Body-Mind Centering® teacher.


Otto Ramstad (NO/USA) holds a MA in Choreography from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and is a Certified Teacher of Body-Mind Centering ®. He has been featured in the work of DD Dorvillier, Miguel Gutierrez, Sara Shelton Mann, Karen Nelson, Lisa Schmitt, Scott Wells, and Kitt Johnson. Ramstad’s solo work has been performed in Norway, France, Denmark, Finland, England, Paris, New Zealand, Italy, NYC, around the USA. He is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship 2015, McKnight Foundation Fellowship 2010, an Archibald Bush Fellowship Artist 2006, twice a DanceWeb Scholarship recipient at Impulstanz. Together with Olive Bieringa he is artistic director of the BodyCartography Project, which creates work in urban, domestic, wild, and social landscapes through experimental dance, video, somatics, education, socially engaged practice and public art. They have collaborated with composers, visual artists, scientists, and filmmakers including Emmett Ramstad, Zeena Parkins, Doug Aitken and Fritz Haeg. He follows the work of BMC beginning with his childhood dance teacher in 1981, Steve Paxton’s work of Contact Improvisation since 1996, Material for the Spine since 2010 and Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores since 2000. He has been teaching Material for the Spine for Culturegest, Lisbon, Independent Dance, London, Contredanse, Belgium, Tanzquartier, Vienna, Cullberg Ballet, Stockholm, & Tanfabrik, Berlin.

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