“Observe the ingredients, the materials of performance, contemplate the particles. Once you find them, train yourself to listen, allow them to become your teachers, embrace them as profound partners. Allow them to create.” —Mary Overlie
Mary Overlie, among the most influential choreographer-dancer-educators in postmodern dance and theater practices, created the Six Viewpoints as an answer to the question « What are dance and theater made of? » Emerging out of the late-’60s NYC downtown dance scene, what followed was the development of a comprehensive language and learning system that is applicable to directing, choreographing, dancing, acting, improvisation, and performance analysis. Standing in Space is essential reading for dancers-dancemakers of all cultures, ages, and genres.
Her book details both theory and practice and is organized in two parts. « The Materials » elucidate the Six Viewpoints of Space, Shape, Time, Emotion, Movement and Story. « The Bridge » is a sequence of nine laboratories that function as philosophical and pedagogical frameworks in which to engage with the materials.
The Six Viewpoints has been taught in the core curriculum of the Experimental Theater Wing within Tisch School of the Arts at New York University since its inception (1978), and has proliferated in recent years throughout actor training programs both in universities and beyond.