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Freedom not as an endpoint, but as a practice grounded in constraint is the central concept of Danielle Goldman's I Want to Be Ready: Improvised Dance as a Practice of Freedom. Goldman problematizes the relationship between improvisation and freedom by honing in on the historical, artistic, and material conditions of particular case studies of dance improvisation in the United States in the latter part of the 20th century, from mambo dancing to multimedia performance. She insists on the role of "tight places" or forms of constraint as constitutive of dance improvisation and the politics of freedom. The book is divided into four chapters, which cover mambo dancing at New York's Palladium Ballroom in the mid-1950s; collaborations between dancers and jazz musicians such as Judith Dunn, Bill Dixon, and Dianne McIntyre in the late 1960s and early 1970s; a comparison between contact improvisation and forms of civil rights nonviolent protest; and improvisation in the work of Bill T. Jones in the late 1990s. [End Page 174]
Theatre: The Rediscovery of Style and Other Writings. By Michel Saint-Denis. Ed. Jane Baldwin. London: Routledge, 2008; 198 pp. $110.00 cloth, $30.95 paper, e-book available.
On the Art of the Theatre. By Edward Gordon Craig. Ed. Franc Chamberlain. London: Routledge, 2008; 160 pp. $105.00 cloth, $29.95 paper, e-book available.
Theatre Arts on Acting. Edited by Laurence Senelick. London: Routledge, 2008; 534 pp. $120.00 cloth, $36.95 paper.
As part of Routledge's new Theatre Classics Series three new edited volumes present key texts of 20th-century European and American theatre. Jane Baldwin's volume makes available Michel Saint-Denis's theatre lectures in the United States, covering topics such as classical theatre, acting style, and modern realism. These lectures are accompanied by writings from Saint-Denis's posthumous book Training for the Theater, in which he deals directly with the challenges and elements of modern actor training. Edward Gordon Craig's On the Art of the Theatre, edited by Franc Chamberlain, provides a new edition of Craig's critical text along with extensive notes and full citations. This volume provides one of the central elucidations on modern theatre by one of Britain's most important theatre theorists, directors, and set designers. Finally, Theatre Arts on Acting, edited by Laurence Senelick, compiles various articles on acting and performing from the archives of Theatre Arts Magazine. Contributors range from Konstantin Stanislavski to Shelly Winters, covering half a century of reflections on acting history and theory by some of the most important actors and acting teachers in Europe and the United States at the time. [End Page 175]