Dance and the Specific Image – Improvisation

AUTHOR: Daniel Nagrin
PUBLISHER: University of Pittsburgh Press (1994)

PAPERBACK: 256 pages
LANGUAGE: English
ISBN13: 978 0 822 95520 7

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RÉSUMÉ

After an extraordinary career in dance – as a performer, choreographer, and teacher – Daniel Nagrin has now written an extraordinary book. In it he explores the roots of his aesthetic philosophy, influenced by Stanislavski, Helen Tamiris, Joseph Chaikin and the Open Theatre, and his work on and off Broadway as an actor and dancer.

Dance and the Specific Image includes over one hundred improvisational structures that Nagrin created with his new company, the Workgroup, and has taught in dance classes and workshops all over the United States. Designed primarily for dancers, many can be adapted for actors and even musicians.

In the 1960s, at a time when many modern dancers were working with movement as abstraction, Nagrin turned instead toward movement as metaphor. His passionate belief that dance must speak of people led him to found the Workgroup, a small company of dancers who, in the early 1970s, devoted themselves to the practice and performance of improvisation.

Nagrin invites the reader into the mind of a dancer totally absorbed in his art, one who writes with wisdom and authority about what it means to be an artist.

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