"After many years of crafting choreography for my solo work, I found that my ideas about dancing did not necessitate setting individual movement patterns; that the specificity of movement was much more precise when it formed and flowed like speech. For each piece, including the collaborative ones, the choreographic formula is designed to include, in some degree, a predefined relationship within my body to the space I inhabit (light, sound, architecture), and to the observer. What is most important to me is not the methodology of the performance, but the theater it creates. My research in dance has focused on methods of transmission. The improvisational state has provided me with an endless source for this research."

Lisa Nelson has been exploring the role of the senses in relation to the performance of movement for many years. A seductive performer with a mercurial imagination, scalpel-sharp precision and sources as varied as Gregory Bateson and ballet at Juilliard, Nelson has unearthed a movement vocabulary built on an unleashed flow of responses to the invisible world­and pure verve. Her intensive movement research led her to develop the Tuning Score, a rigorous model for spontaneous composition and communication for ensemble and solo work. Boldly investigating the relationship of vision to dancing, the body as both container and generator of imagery, as manifestation of thought and feeling, she leaves Descartes in her wake.

  Born 1949, New York City
Lives in NE Kingdom of Vermont

1971 B.A., Dance, Bennington College
1992-98 Image Lab­Tuning Score performing research group
1977-present Experiential Anatomy with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
1981-97 Guest artist, School for New Dance Development & European Dance Development Center, Holland
1971-72 Daniel Nagrin’s Workgroup, NYC

  2000- Memo to Dodo (solo)
  1997- Memo, with Karen Nelson
  1996- Enter Anywhere, with installation artist Uri Tzaig
  1993- Tuning Score Observatories, with Scott Smith, Karen Nelson, K.J. Holmes et al.
  1992- Terminal Defense (solo)
  1990- Ball Room, with Daniel Lepkoff
  1981- Dodo (solo)
  1978- PA RT, with Steve Paxton

  1991- An Abundanza in the Air, videodance puppetry, with Cathy Weis
  1980 Conjugations in the Surface Tense, videodance puppetry, with Christina Svane

  2001 Movement and Perception: year-long project: workshops, performances, and book, Vu du Corps. Contredanse, Brussels
  2001 Hourvari, directed project on perception with choreographers and visual artists from France and Italy, Beaubourg Museum, Paris
  1995 Talking Dance Project: Lisa Nelson: A Life in Dance. New Performance Gallery, San Francisco
  1994 Suitcase Fund, to teach and direct work in Hungary
  1993 Vermont Council on the Arts, Choreography Fellowship
  1987 New York "Bessie" Dance and Performance Award
  1980, 1984 National Endowment for the Arts Videodance Fellowships

  2000-01 Vu du Corps: Lisa Nelson, Mouvement et Perception, Nouvelles de Danse #48-49, guest editor and contributor. Contredanse, Brussels [in French]
  1979-present Founder/director of Videoda: a production, archival and distribution project for videotapes of improvised dance
  1977-present Co-editor, producer, contributor to Contact Quarterly, a vehicle for moving ideas (now biannual): an international dance and improvisation journal giving voice to dance and movement artists articulating new dance practices
Co-editor of Contact Editions Northampton, MA: publishing books by dance artists and new movement educators.