Choreography and the Specific Image

Choreography and the Specific Image: Nineteen Essays and a Workbook

By Daniel Nagrin

“Daniel Nagrin is on of the genuinely interesting figures in American modern dance. In this volume, informed by the wisdom and experience of an unusually long and productive creative life, he now turns his insightful gaze upon the making of dances.”
–Robby Barnett, Philobolus Dance Theatre

“Not a day goes by where I do not call on Daniel’s brilliance as an artist and educator, a writer, a thinker, and a person to aid me in my job as a choreographer, performer, and teacher.”
–David Dorfman

“Nagrin’s book is packed with fuel for the imagination….It is a thoughtful, funny, and very rich source book.”
–Mark Morris

“An extraordinary and indispensable resource for choreographers, from budding to veteran. Here is a book that I can keep close by, reread and refer to again and again for comfort, inspiration, and contemplation for years to come.”
–Li Chiao-Ping

“Daniel Nagrin has been an inspiration to us for many years. He is as engaged and straight-forward in this book as he has been on the stage.”
–Eiko & Koma

Dubbed “the great loner of American dance” by Dance Magazine, Daniel Nagrin has worked with Martha Graham, Helen Tamiris, Mme. Anderson-Ivantzova, and Anna Sokolow. He has danced on Broadway, in film and television, and has toured nationally and internationally as a solo concert artist.
As Nagrin observes, “The world outside has burst into the studio.” Many dancers today want to confront the concrete subjects of their lives, but their formalistic training has left them ill-prepared to approach choreography through content rather than structure. During his long and distinguished career, when many dancers were working with movement as abstraction, Nagrin turned instead toward movement as a metaphor, in the belief that dance should be about something.
Spiced with wit and strong opinions, Choreography and the Specific Image is part history, part philosophy, part nuts-and-bolts manual. It is the third book–with Dance and the Specific Image: Improvisation, and The Six Questions: Acting Technique for Dance Performance–in a trilogy devoted to exploring the use of the specific image as a creative tool. Also included are three essays on choreographing for musical comedy, opera, and theatre by Susan Stroman, Elizabeth Keen, and Donya Feuer.

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Choreography and the Specific Image: Nineteen Essays and a Workbook, University of Pittstsburgh Press ISBN 0-8229-5750-7 for Paperback; ISBN 0-8229-4147-3 for Clothbound

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