Recommended: Composing While Dancing: An Improviser’s Companion

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.

Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.

"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

The term "body shaming" might bring up memories of that instructor from your own training who made critical remarks about—or even poked and prodded—dancers' bodies.

Thankfully, we're (mostly) past the days when authority figures felt free to openly mock a dancer's appearance. But body shaming remains a toxic presence in the studio, says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, psychologist for Atlanta Ballet: "It's just more hidden and more subtle." Here's how to make sure your teaching isn't part of the problem.

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News
Courtesy Russell

Gregg Russell, an Emmy-nominated choreographer known for his passionate and energetic teaching, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 22, at the age of 48.

While perhaps most revered as a master tap instructor and performer, Russell also frequently taught hip-hop and musical theater classes, showcasing a versatility that secured him a successful career onstage and in film and television, both nationally and abroad.

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