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Moving Toward Life

Five Decades of Transformational Dance

Anna Halprin

Anna Halprin is one of the most important innovators in the history of modern dance, performance art, and post-modern dance. Moving Toward Life brings together for the first time her essays, interviews, manifestos, and teaching materials, along with over 100 illustrations, providing a rich account of the work that radicalized an entire generation of performers.

Since the late 1950s, Halprin has been at the forefront of experiments in dance, from improvisation and street theatre to dances in the environment and healing dances. A brief overview of Halprin's career shows how her work has prefigured -- and transfigured -- crucial developments in postmodern dance. In the 1960s, Halprin invented the "workshop," and in the wake of the Watts riots, her multiracial company broke boundaries in their confrontational political performances. In the 1970s, she organized "community rituals" to explore how individual creativity feeds positively into group dynamics. These healing social events led to her current work with cancer survivors and people challenging AIDS and their caregivers.

Depicting Halprin's deep commitment to social change, Moving Toward Life presents an engaging, critical document of the life of one of the most influential and least known luminaries of American dance. Sally Banes and Janice Ross join Rachel Kaplan in providing introductory essays to sections of the book.

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My Body, The Buddhist

Deborah Hay

Through a series of imaginative approaches to movement and performance, choreographer Deborah Hay presents a profound reflection on the ephemeral nature of the self and the body as the locus of artistic consciousness. Using the same uniquely playful poetics of her revolutionary choreography, she delivers one of the most revealing accounts of what art creation entails and the ways in which the body, the center of our aesthetic knowledge of the world, can be regarded as our most informed teacher.

My Body, The Buddhist becomes a way into Hay's choreographic techniques, a gloss on her philosophy of the body (which shares much with Buddhism), and an extraordinary artist's primer. The book is composed of nineteen short chapters ("my body likes to rest," "my body finds energy in surrender," "my body is bored by answers"), each an example of what Susan Foster calls Hay's "daily attentiveness to the body's articulateness."

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Next Week, Swan Lake

Reflections on Dance and Dances

Selma Jeanne Cohen

A book of essays on "dance and ideas about dance."

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On Edge

Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century

C. Carr

Through her engaged and articulate essays in the Village Voice, C. Carr has emerged as the cultural historian of the New York underground and the foremost critic of performance art. On Edge brings together her writings to offer a detailed and insightful history of this vibrant brand of theatre from the late 70s to today. It represents both Carr's analysis as a critic and her testament as a witness to performances which, by their very nature, can never be repeated.

Carr has organized this collection both chronologically and thematically, ranging from the emphasis on bodily manipulation/endurance in the 70s to the underground club scene in New York to an insider's analysis of the Tompkins Square Riot as a manifestation of the cultural and social conflicts that underlie much of performance art. She examines the transgressive and taboo-shattering work of Ethyl Eichelberger, Karen Finley, and Holly Hughes; documents specific performances by Annie Sprinkle and Lydia Lunch; and maps the development of such artists as Robbie McCauley, Blue Man Group, and John Jesurun. She also describes the "cross-over" phenomenon of the mid-80s and considers the far-right backlash against this mainstreaming as cultural reactionaries sought to curb the influence of these new artists.

CONTRIBUTORS: Linda Montano, Chris Burden, G.G Allin, Jean Baudrillard, Patty Hearts, Dan Quayle, Anne Magnouson, John Jesurun, John Kelly, Shu Lea Changvv, Diamanda Galas, Salley May, Rafael Mantanez Ortiz, Sherman Fleming, Kristine Stiles, Laurie Carlos, Jessica Hafedorn, Robbie McCormick, Karen Finley, Poopo Shiraishi, Donna Henes, Holey Hughe, Ela Troyano, Michael Smith, Harry Koipper, John Sex, Nina Jagen, Ethyl Eichelberge, Marina Abramovic, Ulay.

Ebook Edition Note: All illustrations have been redacted from the ebook edition.

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On Stage Alone

Soloists and the Modern Dance Canon

Claudia Gitelman

Soloists ignited the modern dance movement and have been a source of its constant renewal. Pioneering dancers such as Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Maud Allan embodied the abstraction and individuality of the larger modernist movement while making astounding contributions to their art. Nevertheless, solo dancers have received far less attention in the literature than have performers and choreographers associated with large companies.

In On Stage Alone, editors Claudia Gitelman and Barbara Palfy take an international approach to the solo dance performance. The essays in this standout volume broaden the dance canon by bringing to light modern dance soloists from Europe, Asia, and the Americas who have shaped significant, sustained careers by performing full programs of their own choreography.

Featuring in-depth examinations of the work of artists such as Michio Ito, Daniel Nagrin, Ann Carlson, and many others, On Stage Alone reveals the many contributions made by daring solo dancers from the dawn of the twentieth century through today. In doing so, it explores many important statements these soloists made regarding topics such as freedom, personal space, individuality, and gender in the modern era.

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On Technique

Dean Speer

On Technique provides a fascinating look into the careers and teaching philosophies of eighteen of the world’s most respected ballet masters, principals, and artistic directors. Author Dean Speer sat down with prominent ballet pedagogues and asked each a standard set of questions, including "What do we mean when we say someone has beautiful technique?" and "How did you become a dancer?"

Featuring such artists as Peter Boal (artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet) and Bene Arnold (first ballet mistress of the San Francisco Ballet), this volume offers fascinating insights into the nature of both performance and artistic instruction. Speer's approach reveals sometimes surprising convergences among these world-class talents, despite their varying pedagogical backgrounds and divisions.

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The People Have Never Stopped Dancing

Native American Modern Dance Histories

Jacqueline Shea Murphy

During the past thirty years, Native American dance has emerged as a visible force on concert stages throughout North America. In this first major study of contemporary Native American dance, Jacqueline Shea Murphy shows how these performances are at once diverse and connected by common influences.


Demonstrating the complex relationship between Native and modern dance choreography, Shea Murphy delves first into U.S. and Canadian federal policies toward Native performance from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, revealing the ways in which government sought to curtail authentic ceremonial dancing while actually encouraging staged spectacles, such as those in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows. She then engages the innovative work of Ted Shawn, Lester Horton, and Martha Graham, highlighting the influence of Native American dance on modern dance in the twentieth century. Shea Murphy moves on to discuss contemporary concert dance initiatives, including Canada’s Aboriginal Dance Program and the American Indian Dance Theatre.


Illustrating how Native dance enacts, rather than represents, cultural connections to land, ancestors, and animals, as well as spiritual and political concerns, Shea Murphy challenges stereotypes about American Indian dance and offers new ways of recognizing the agency of bodies on stage.


Jacqueline Shea Murphy is associate professor of dance studies at the University of California, Riverside, and coeditor of Bodies of the Text: Dance as Theory, Literature as Dance.

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Performing Brazil

Essays on Culture, Identity, and the Performing Arts

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The Place of Dance

A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making

Andrea Olsen

The Place of Dance is written for the general reader as well as for dancers. It reminds us that dancing is our nature, available to all as well as refined for the stage. Andrea Olsen is an internationally known choreographer and educator who combines the science of body with creative practice. This workbook integrates experiential anatomy with the process of moving and dancing, with a particular focus on the creative journey involved in choreographing, improvising, and performing for the stage. Each of the chapters, or "days," introduces a particular theme and features a dance photograph, information on the topic, movement and writing investigations, personal anecdotes, and studio notes from professional artists and educators for further insight. The third in a trilogy of works about the body, including Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy and Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide, The Place of Dance will help each reader understand his/her dancing body through somatic work, create a dance, and have a full journal clarifying aesthetic views on his or her practice. It is well suited for anyone interested in engaging embodied intelligence and living more consciously.

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Pratiques performatives

Edited by Josette Féral

À notre époque, les nouvelles technologies contribuent largement à l’évolution des langages scéniques modifiant profondément les conditions de représentation et intensifi ant toujours davantage les effets de présence et les effets de réel. Ces technologies sont souvent liées à l’émergence de nouvelles formes scéniques qui transgressent les limites des disciplines et se caractérisent par des spectacles à l’identité instable, mouvante, en perpétuelle redéfi nition. Projections, installations interactives, environnements immersifs, spectacles sur la toile, les sens(ations) sont plus que jamais sollicité(e)s. Le performeur y est confronté à un Autre virtuel, à la fois personnage et partenaire. Quant au corps, charnel, physique, palpable, il constitue encore la trace incontestée de l’homme dans ces espaces où la déréalisation fait loi. Contre-point d’une culture du virtuel, le corps semble rester au coeur des dispositifs (scénique, interactif, immersif). Quel(s) corps ces oeuvres convoquent-elles ? Comment ces dernières renouvellent-elles la dynamique entre performeurs, spectateurs et dispositifs ? Quelles sont les diverses modalités d’interpénétration entre le virtuel et le réel dans ces formes d’art ?

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