Growing out of the 1960s avant-garde and counterculture, contact improvization is an underground, experimental movement in modern dance that captures artistic and social forces in transition. Cynthia Novack considers the development of this dance form within its historical, social and cultural contexts. While focusing on the changing practice of contact improvization, Novack's work incorporates the history of rock dancing and disco, modern dance and experimental dance movements and a variety of other physical activities, such as martial arts, aerobics and wrestling. Providing a cultural history of a number of American dance/movement styles from the 1950s to the present, she also compares contact improvization to other dance forms, both American and non-American. Novack concludes her study with a discussion of contact improvization both as an icon of the end of the 1960s and as a dance practice which continues to demonstrate the subtle ways in which movement represents and creates culture.