Karen Nelson is a dancer/choreographer, performer, teacher and organiser, who co-founded Joint Forces Dance Co, Breitenbush Jam, Dance Ability, Diverse Dance Research Retreat, and the performance group Image Lab, among other projects. She explores dance history and currency that centres intersections of practitioner experience. She interrogates whiteness within her own embodiment and larger community, often collaborating with artists around the world.
Since 1980 Karen has taught and performed at festivals and venues in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. She has received awards for choreography and research from National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, National Performance Network, Wild Woods Foundation, Vashon Allied Arts, On the Boards NW New Works and private supporters. Collaborating with many leading artists in the field of dance improvisation include decades of work with Steve Paxton/ Material for the Spine and Lisa Nelson /Tuning Scores. She worked for 8 years in early 2000’s as a caretaker of a Buddhist meditation retreat facility.
Her teaching approach brings classic origins of CI and Tuning through exercises, images, practice and discussion along with a view towards engendering individual possession and evolution of the forms through one’s own experience. Embodied Life™, combining Feldenkrais + Focusing-influenced movement + listening additionally inform her somatic approach. Karen’s dance writing has been published in Contact Quarterly and the collection Dancing with Dharma. Her website is www.explomov.weebly.com.