Undertraining : on a contemporary dance
Boris Charmatz & Isabelle Launay
Entretenir, à propos d’une danse contemporaine est le fruit d’entretiens menés par Isabelle Launay, chercheuse et enseignante en danse contemporaine, avec Boris Charmatz, chorégraphe, au sujet de sa pièce Con forts fleuve. Une idée faisant dériver vers une autre, cette longue conversation en plusieurs épisodes a fait émerger une matière dense, pleine de questions et de réflexions, compilée sous forme d’index.
L’ouvrage esquisse une définition exhaustive et incomplète de la danse en train de se faire, à travers le point de vue d’un de ses auteurs. Chaque section offre une entrée possible dans un flot de pensée qui reste à entretenir.
Undertraining, On a Contemporary Dance est la traduction anglaise de l’ouvrage coédité par le Centre National de la Danse, coll.Parcours d’artiste et Les presses du réel, coll. Nouvelles scènes (2002, épuisé).
When You Rise UP : performance texts
Main Book Collection
When You Rise Up collects texts by choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, a relentlessly exploratory figure in the contemporary dance scene. Gutierrez engages artistic community in a radical sense, interrogating physical encounter at all scales, from the collaborating performers to the world where the work takes place. Standing alone from their original contexts, these pieces radiate with the physical urgency of a life committed to art and performance.
A Pattern Language : towns, buildings, construction
Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa & Murray Silverstein
You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction.
After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, “lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely.” The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language.
At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people.
At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain “languages,” which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment.
“Patterns,” the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.
Dance Discourses : keywords in dance research
Susanne Franco & Marina Nordera
Main Book Collection
Focusing on politics, gender, and identities, a group of international dance scholars provide a broad overview of new methodological approaches – with specific case studies – and how they can be applied to the study of ballet and modern dance. With an introduction exploring the history of dance studies and the development of central themes and areas of concerns in the field, the book is then divided into three parts: politics explores ‘Ausdruckstanz’ – an expressive dance tradition first formulated in the 1920s by dancer Mary Wigman and carried forward in the work of Pina Bausch and others gender examines eighteenth century theatrical dance – a time when elaborate sets, costumes, and plots examined racial and sexual stereotypes identity is concerned with modern dance. Exploring contemporary analytical approaches to understanding performance traditions, Dance Discourses’ pedagogical structure makes it ideal for courses in performing arts and humanities.
Modern Gestures : Abraham Walkowitz draws Isadora Duncan dancing
Ann Cooper Albright
This small and beautifully illustrated book showcases the work of two great American modernists, painter Abraham Walkowitz and dancer Isadora Duncan. Born in the same year (1878), both artists influenced the development of modern art in the early twentieth century by blending figurative gesture with abstraction. Duncan grew up in a free-spirited and artistic household in California and then moved to Europe. Walkowitz immigrated to the United States from Russia when he was a child and lived most of his life in New York City, where he studied at Cooper Union School and the National Academy of Design.
Walkowitz and Duncan met in 1906 in Paris at the studio of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. Deeply impressed by Duncan’s musicality and expressivity, Walkowitz drew thousands of images of Duncan dancing throughout his life. Because Walkowitz’s renderings of Duncan were produced quickly, they carry an element of improvisational vitality that matches the dynamic energy of her presence onstage. In her introductory essay, author Ann Cooper Albright weaves literary theory, art criticism, and dance history into a fluid narrative to explore how Walkowitz’s drawings realize Duncan’s dancing on paper. Modern Gestures reproduces over fifty watercolors of this unique oeuvre, many of which have never before been published. A perfect gift, this sumptuous little volume will provide hours of enjoyment to anyone interested in dance or modern art.
Book of Recommendations: choreography as an aesthetics of change
Michael Klien, et al
Main Book Collection
The way our culture has choreographed dance has always been reflective of the larger tendencies of how we, as a society, deal with the unknown, the unframable, the foreign, the spiritual and the animal. Conventional arrangements – those of streets, school exams, chains of command and soldiering performers – impose rigid frames upon dance. These systems are the embodiment of fear and the cultural suppression of that which is governed neither by subjective nor collective will. Our premise must not be to constrain movement into a set pattern, but rather to provide a cradle for movement to find its own patterns – over and over again; to preserve a body, whether bound by skin or habits, from stagnation; to enable lightness and primal energy, possibilities only found once relations start dancing.