Tuesday, May 29, 2007

'The Art of Making Dances' by Doris Humphrey

Over the long weekend I had a chance to catch up on some reading. The book I couldn't put down once I started was Doris Humphrey's 'The Art of Making Dances' which is an early and very erudite example of choreography theory. In retrospect, it may not have been the best source for a person (me) who was hoping to find an introduction to the subject. I couldn't help but think two things throughout my reading: 1)Ms. Humphrey has a very particular view of choreography that incorporates little of what came before her yet 2)her break with the past isn't so complete as to anticipate our present. A transitional figure in 20th Century Choreography.

The charm of the book is in the passion with which Ms. Humphrey explains herself. She has a very engaging voice which superficially reminds me of another classic performance theory text, Richard Boleslawski's 'Acting: the First Six Lessons'.

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