Composing While Dancing: An Improviser’s Companion
by Melinda Buckwalter
University of Wisconsin Press, 2010
In a nutshell: A collection of the many approaches to improvisational dance.
“An improvised dance has the possibility of changing from moment to moment, and that makes it difficult to talk or write about,” writes author Melinda Buckwalter, co-editor of Contact Quarterly. And in this 216-page text, she takes on the challenge with gusto, sharing insight from her personal experience as an improviser, plus tips, strategies and sample exercises from 26 top contemporary movement artists. Use Eiko & Koma’s Delicious Movement, William Forsythe’s “room writing” and Anna Halprin’s Five Stages of Healing to inspire class activities or your own artistic process. Each of the book’s nine chapters focuses on one important aspect of dancemaking—“Spatial Relations,” “The Possibilities of Music,” “The Eyes”—and each includes practices for further research, like setting up a “dance situation that investigates and tests your chaos comfort zone.” A helpful glossary of dedicated practitioners and terms is also included.