[PDF] The dance technique of Doris Humphrey and its creative potential

ISBN: 091662207X

Category: Tutorial


Posted on 2017-11-27, by luongquocchinh.

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Author: Ernestine Stodelle | Publisher: Princeton Book Co | Category: Art related | Language: English | Page: 264 | ISBN: 091662207X | ISBN13: 9780916622077 |

Description: It is one of the few written that gives insight into the dance technique of one of the pioneers of modern dance in the 20the century. Known to many students of modern dance as Humphrey-Weidman technique, with reference to Humphrey's collaborator Charles Weidman, it is a dance form that has taken root not only in the dance classroom, but in rythymic studies and dance notation. The author had known Doris Humphrey personally, taken her classes, and has given dance enthusiasts a fine book here, comprehensive in content, and one that also gives insight into Humphrey's influence of the philosopher Frederich Neitzsche. The book offers a study of Humphrey's dance technique that is based on Neitzsche's philosophy of aesthetics, namely his thinking on the dual nature of humankind: the Dionysion and the Appollonian. When reading the book, one is led to the conclusion that Humphrey was one of the more analytical of the 20th century choreographers. Following Nietzsche, her technique emphasized the individual need for adventure, to "get out of equilibrium". But a sustained attempt to remain like this, for the dancer to be always off-balance, implies for Humphrey a "dynamic death" but the opposite, a sustained attempt at symmetry and order, implies a "static death". A dancer must oscillate between these two extremes, explains the author in dicussing the Humphrey philosophy of dance. This is the origin of Humphrey's famous principle of falling and recovering, and the author outlines in detail the exercises and movements that reflect this principle. Not only is this work a book on dance theory, but it also can be used in the classroom. The author uses stick figures in the book, but they are clear enough for an instructor to interpret and implement. The exercises are discussed in detail along with the counts and phrasing for each. Some of the more interesting ones that illustrate nicely the Humphrey-Weidman technique are: 1. Change of weight with falling motion. The dancer "rebounds" after succoumbing momentarily to gravity. 2. Full body swings. These are an example of the famous "fall and recovery" principles of the Humphrey-Weidman technique. 3. The floor exercises. In modern dance, and especially Humphrey-Weidman technique, the floor is equal partners with the other levels. The famous "Weidman pushup" is described here in detail by the author. The "thigh stretch" exercises is one of the best floor exercises for developing control in the sitting position and requires tremendous strength in the quadriceps. 4. The falls and their consequent recovery. The author is very detailed here and thus the discussion is very useful for those teaching these. The circular fall is certainly the most exquisite to watch in this technique.

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