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Taken by Surpriseby Ann Cooper Albright
Synopses & Reviews
This collection of classic and new writings on dance improvisation brings together 21 essays by prominent dancers, scholars and historians. Until now, discussion of improvisation in dance has focused mainly on the postmodern form known as contact improv. Taken by Surprise reflects the development of improvisation as a compositional and performance mode in a wide variety of dance contexts, including dance traditions from around the globe, such as Yoruban masked dance, Indian Bharatanatyam and flamenco.
The book also includes a thoughtful look at computer-aided choreography, a discussion of recent innovations in tap dancing and a section on improvisation in everyday life. Combining primary sources with critical analysis, Taken by Surprise will serve as an indispensible companion to studio work in improvisation, and a much-needed supplement to twentieth century dance histories.
CONTRIBUTORS: Ann Cooper Albright, Sally Banes, Bruce Curtis, Kent Despain, Margaret Thompson Drewal, Simone Forti, Susan Leigh Foster, David Gere, Raymond W. Gibbs, JR, Michelle Heffner Hayes, Carmela Hermann, Constance Valis Hill, Rachel Kaplan, Maura Keefe, Victoria Marks, Avanthi Meduri, Steve Paxton, Janice Ross, Karen Schaffman, Nancy Stark Smith, Ellen Webb, Ruth Zaporah.
First comprehensive overview of improvisation in dance.
Table of Contents
Taken by surprise : improvisation in dance and mind / Susan Leigh Foster — Exposed to gravity / Bruce Curtis — Dance : a body with a mind of its own / Ruth Zaporah — The cutting edge of awareness : reports from the inside of improvisation / Kent De Spain — Anna Halprin and improvisation as child's play : a search for informed innocence / Janice Ross — Animate dancing : a practice in dance improvisation / Simone Forti — Learning to speak : an apprenticeship with Simone Forti in logomotion / Carmela hermann — Spontaneous combustion : notes on dance improvisation from the sixties to the nineties / Sally Banes — Stepping, stealing, sharing, and daring : improvisation and the tap dance challenge / Constance Valis Hill — The writing on the wall : reading improvisation in flamenco and postmodern dance / Michelle Heffner Hayes — Improvisation as participating performance : egungun masked dancers in the Yoruba tradition / Margaret Thompson Drewal — Against improvisation : a postmodernist makes the case for choreography / Victoria Marks — Multiple pleasures : improvisation in bharatanatyam / Avanthi Meduri — A subjective history of contact improvisation / Nancy Stark Smith — Drafting interior techniques / Steve Paxton — Embodied meanings in performing, interpreting, and talking about dance improvisation / Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. — Weighting metaphors : a response to Raymond W. Gibbs and "Hilary" / Karen Schaffman — Present tense : contact improvisation at twenty-five / Ann Cooper Albright — Some traveler's tales / Rachel Kaplan — What's the score? : structured improvisation as national pastime / Maura Keefe — For the taste of an apple : why I practice zen / Ellen Webb — Life scores / Nancy Stark Smith — Dwelling in possibility / Ann Cooper Albright.
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