Banes, Sally. Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance. Boston, MA: Houghton
Mifflin Company. 1980. Print.
This classic of post-modern dance history includes writings by and about Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, Trisha Brown, Deborah Hay, Meredith Monk, The Grand Union, and many other pivotal participants in this rich time in dance history.
Blom, Lynne Anne and L. Tarin Chaplin. The Moment of Movement: Dance
Improvisation. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1988. Print.
This book offers an in-depth guide to teaching and performing movement improvisations. Included in it are exercises, examples, inspirations, and insights. There is intelligent commentary on the elements of composition and ways of cultivating group cohesion and individual awareness. It offers structures and scores as well as suggestions for creating your own.
Brecht, Bertolt. Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic. John Willet
(Ed. & Tr.) New York, NY: Hill and Wang. 1957. eBook.
A chronologically organized collection of Brecht's critical writing.
Cotter, Holland. "In the Naked Museum: Talking, Thinking, Encountering." New York
Times. 1 Feb. 2010. Web.
An article on Seghal's exhibit at the Guggenheim.
Crickmay, Chris and Miranda Tufnell. The Widening Field: Journeys in Body and
Imagination. Hapshire, England: Dance Books Ltd. 2004. Print.
The widening field is written in an accessible style that weaves between guide book, journal and art project. It offers many structures for engaging creative composition across disciplines. The exercises are rich and the photographs and poetry throughout the book cultivate an immediacy of the image world that can't help but wander off the page and into the studio with the reader.
Daly, Ann. Critical Gestures: Writings on Dance and Culture. Middletown, CN:
Wesleyan University Press. 2002. Print.
Ann Daly is an articulate and thoughtful dance critic. This is a collection of her Reviews and writings around influential dance luminaries such as Pina Bausch, Deborah Hay, Bill T. Jones, Ralph Lemon, Kei Takei, Kazuo Ohno and more.
Forti, Simone. Handbook in Motion. New York, NY. New York University Press. 1974.
Writings, pictures, notes, and scores from Simone Forti's personal journals. Great primary source material.
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boston, MA:
Shambhala. 1986. Print.
This book has many embodied and creative springboards into writing practice. Many of the practices are great ways to unleash the wild inspired creative mind. These are exercises for getting things going, rather than anything that will help with editing and composing. As I use writing largely as a springboard to deepen my relation to content for performance, the material in this book is great.
Halprin, Anna. Moving Toward Life: Five Decades of Transformational Dance.
Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press. 1995. Print.
Halprin is sometimes considered the mother (or grandmother at this point) of dance as a healing art. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to engaging with the psyche, springboarding between movement, drawing, and writing, often in a ritual context. Her work integrating community, ritual, and improvisation was a driving force in the eruptions that became post-modern dance. This book is filled with pictures, writings, and interviews that communicate the vitality of her engagement with the world through art and expression.
Hennessy, Kieth. Personal E-Mail Communication. 6 April 2012.
Jowitt, Deborah. Time and the Dancing Image. Berkeley, CA: University of California
This academic writing on dance history traverses the ground from 19th century ballet through the early 70s. There are sections on image and metamorphosis, on the pedestrian revolution of the Judson Church Era, on the chance processes of Merce Cunningham and his collaborators, on mythic dance drama, and many more. Lowitt is an astute critic and uses many examples to illustrate the various periods and transitional moments in dance history. The book is filled with great pictures.
Mettler, Barbara. The Nature of Dance as a Creative Art Activity. Tuscon, AZ:
Mettler Studios, Inc. 1980. Print.
This is a collection of Mettler's bite-size reflections on the nature of dance and creativity. Written in a spacious and simple way, each section is a few sentences long and often is drenched in Mettler's clearly strong opinions. Her statements are made as if they are unchallengeable law and yet are made with little substantiation. Some interesting ideas presented with a strong dose of assumed authority.
Marion Goodman Gallery: Tino Seghal. 2007. Web. 20 April 2012.
A description of Seghal's work from a gallery that represents him.
Mettler, Barbara. Group Dance Improvisations. Tucson, AZ: Mettler Studios. 1975.
A book of simple scores for use with all populations. These are especially useful for use with groups unfamiliar with improvisation and composition. They are simple and accessible.
O’Quinn, Jim. Squat Theatre Underground 1972-1976. The Drama Review. Private
Performance Issue. Volume 23 Number 4 December, 1979. New York, NY: New York University School For The Arts.
This article tells the tale of the Hungarian Theatre Company, Squat, who’s license to perform was revoked on the grounds of “obscenity.” For the next four years they went underground and performed primarily in homes, an unused country chapel, an uninhabited island, and anywhere else they could find. The authors depiction of the bold experiments that straddle life and art are inspiring if somewhat desperate. In a time when The Home Theatre Festival of San Francisco can be celebrated by its creative response to formal venues and stark resources, it is deeply valuable to read of a company that continues on despite intense political repression. The article describes symbol rich experiments that were often long, involved nudity and even sex, blood, animals, masks, breakfast, cross dressing, and all manner of unexpected icon and interaction. Rooms were built within rooms, inviting the audience to become voyeurs. The illustrations of the companies range of experiments breaks wide open the conversation of what is theatre and what is ok to do in theatre.
Robinson, Scott R. Origins of Theatre. Central Washington University, 2010. Web.
1 May 2012
A web published paper about the origins of theatre from pre-history to the present.
Schevill, James. Break Out: in Search of New Theatrical Environments. Chicago, The
Swallow Press Inc. 1973. Print.
The quest for unconventional venues is not new. Whether because of resource availabily or in search of ways to touch an audience that avoid the conditioned audience performer proscenium relation, the need for innovation is ever present. This compilation of scripts, scores, and commentary takes us from Street Theatre and Bread and Puppet to a manifesto for a living room theatre; From Grotowski’s Poor Theatre to the anarchist rites of the Living Theatre. While the historical importance of the author’s selections could be further illustrated through more commentary, Schevill clearly captures the spirit of exploration of his decade in its expression of the stretching of the theatrical form and the venues of its experiments.
Sewall, Laura. "The Skill of Ecological Perception." Ecopsychology. Ed. Theodore
Roszak, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner. San Francisco. Sierra Club Books.
1995. 201-215. Print.
This essay on the cultivation of ecological perception could be read as a primer for the skills necessary for composition and improvisational performance.
Wosien, Maria-Gabriele. Sacred Dance: Encounters with the Gods. New York, NY:
Thames and Hudson. 1974. Print.
An illustrated look at dance in sacred and ritual contexts throughout time and culture. Primarily a coffee table picture book with commentary.