Taken by Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader

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Wesleyan University Press, Oct 24, 2003 - Performing Arts - 279 pages
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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.
 

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Taken by surprise: a dance improvisation reader

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The concept of improvisation is historically associated with jazz, comedy, or theater, not dance. In fact, according to coeditor Gere, "the word 'improvisation' did not come into common usage with ... Read full review

Contents

I
xiii
II
3
III
13
IV
21
V
27
VI
41
VII
53
VIII
65
XV
153
XVI
175
XVII
185
XVIII
197
XIX
205
XX
215
XXI
229
XXII
239

IX
77
X
89
XI
105
XII
119
XIII
135
XIV
141
XXIII
245
XXIV
255
XXV
257
XXVI
267
XXVII
273
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About the author (2003)

ANN COOPER ALBRIGHT is Associate Professor of Dance at Oberlin College and author of Choreographing Difference (Wesleyan, 1997). DAVID GERE is Assistant Professor at University of California at Los Angeles s Department of World Arts and Cultures and co-editor of Looking Out: Perspectives on Dance and Criticism in a Multicultural World (1995).

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