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The Art of Making Dances Paperback – 23 May 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dance Books; New edition edition (23 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852730536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852730536
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.1 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is perhaps the most important book on choreography ever published. Written just before Humphrey's death in 1958, it is her autobiography in art, a gathering of her experiences in performance and a lucid and practical source book on choreography. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prima on 28 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best book for choreography tips! A classic. I take it wherever I go, so many details, so much wisdom.
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By taheya on 3 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a complete Doris Humphreys convert, I loved this book and her ideas. Can be adapted to all dance styles. If you are interested in the craft of dance then I think this is a must
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
not 5 stars for the reason you may think... 1 Dec. 2005
By Jack Kirven - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
as a post-modernist who is always asking "why?" or "who says so?" i see this text as simply brimming with possible areas for undermining aesthetics, theories, and practices in choreography... when i was an undergrad, i learned to choreograph by reading this book. essentially i learned how to make "grocery store list" dances... do i have the "proper" levels? check! do i have "interesting" variations? check! is my music "appropriate" for dance? double check!! have i avoided anything that should be better described with words? ummm... hmmm. well... err... this is where the problems get really big -- yes, i adamantly suggest a beginner learn the material from this book, but only so that the dated notions can be completely thrown away. i give this book 5 stars, because it introduces some of the most important concepts about craft all in one nice, orderly place, but i also give it 5 stars because of the hundreds or thousands of dances that could be made simply to refute the ideas contained herein. yes, get the book... it's essential to your training as a dance maker... yes, throw EVERYTHING away once you've learned it. this text is a bibliography brimming with sources on dance/performance concepts... now that i'm a college professor i'm teaching the choreography 1 class how to use this book as is, but i'm teaching the choreography 4 class how to refute it completely.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Review of "The Art of Making Dances" 8 July 2006
By Dalienne J. Majors - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Written by one of the master pioneers of American modern dance, "The Art of Making Dances" was Doris Humphrey's final effort before she died in 1958. Published after her death, the book is a tribute to her legacy of providing a formal methodology of the craft of choreography. The book is an excellent manual for the beginning choreographer by outlining elements of dance and music composition, design, dynamics, rhythm and gesture. She includes choreography assignments to illustrate each compositional element. While somewhat dated in its choreography references, Humphrey offers the reader advice for what to look for in formal choreography making the book an excellent introduction to understanding and appreciating dance for the practitioner as well as the audience member.

Dalienne Majors

Chair of Dance

Berkeley Carroll School

Brooklyn, NY

July 2006
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
For anyone that loves to dance 25 Feb. 2006
By S. Pernsley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this book for it's drawing examples and it's heart to heart talk. I can almost hear the writer talking directly at me about how to look at dancing in a different way. . .the heart and emotion of the dance not the techinques that are drummed into us from the time we first put our foot down. This book was recommended to me from a person that studies and teachs ballet. I am a bellydance studen myself but found that it was very helpful in getting over my fears of making my owns dances. Highly recommended for all levels and types of dancers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
All you need to know 18 Jan. 2011
By victorjeanmarie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the foundation book. I have read and sometimes purchased many books on choreography, but they all are only extensions of what is presented in this book. It is said that choreography cannot be taught - you can do it or you can't. I agree that the creative inspiration cannot be taught, but the stagecraft can and that is what choreography must be built on. I have danced professionally, and been a teacher and choreographer for almost 35 years. The principles outlined by Doris Humphrey in this book apply to all forms and styles of performance dance. A must for any aspiriing choreographer and very useful for teachers.
Classic, Yet Current 19 Oct. 2009
By TaharaDancer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful book to advise on how and what to do to make a choreography. Even though it was originally written quite a while ago, it give current dancers of all danceforms inspiration to create.
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