Composing while Dancing: An Improviser’s Companion by Melinda Buckwalter

By Melinda Buckwalter

Composing whereas Dancing: An Improviser’s Companion examines the realm of improvisational dance and the numerous ways to this paintings shape. through introducing the improvisational ideas of twenty-six most sensible modern artists of move improvisation, Melinda Buckwalter deals a pragmatic primer to the dance shape. each one bankruptcy specializes in a massive element of improvisation together with spatial kinfolk, the eyes, and the dancing picture. integrated are pattern practices from the artists profiled, routines for additional study, and a thesaurus of phrases. Buckwalter gathers historical past, equipment, interviews, and biographies in a single ebook to show off the various aspects of improvisational dance and create a useful reference for dancers and dance educators.

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Try teaching it to yourself (and your “playpen playmates”). Or improvise movement combining one or two of these “effort actions” from Rudolf Laban’s Movement Analysis: Float, Punch, Glide, Slash, Wring, Dab, Flick, Press. Finally, identify one or two edges for yourself, such as aerobic movement, continuous flow, balance, a less familiar Laban effort action, et cetera. Design an improvisation that pushes this edge by focusing on it in a timed improvisation. Adjust the parameters of your improvisation until you are satisfied that you have found and pushed your edge of comfort/endurance/familiarity.

The individual participants choose a loved one, community, animal, plant, environment, something that they will dedicate their participation to. As they begin running one by one on a circular path inside the square, they call out their dedications. Concentric circles of runners eventually develop, and they are allowed to rest in the interior of the square, facing one of the four directions. Drummers keep a pulse for the runners. As the running pattern takes hold, a narrator reads and repeats a text, such as Chief Seattle’s statement of love and respect for the Earth.

3 Family, friends, colleagues, and students supported the process as witnesses, responding with sounds and joining in a circle with Halprin at the end of the dance. Her personal experience of healing through this method and many investigations with other individuals in her workshops led Halprin to create a fivepart process, the Five Stages of Healing, to deal creatively with a variety of difficulties and contemporary issues, including individual health and personal growth, family, community, and the environment.

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