On choreography: "Choreography is a negotiation with the patterns your body is thinking"
On rules: "Try breaking the rules on a need to break the rules basis"
A Choreographer's Handbook invites the reader to investigate how and why to make a dance performance. In an inspiring and unusually empowering sequence of stories, ideas and paradoxes, internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher Jonathan Burrows explains how it's possible to navigate a course through this complex process.
It is a stunning reflection on a personal practice and professional journey, and draws upon five years' of workshop discussions, led by Burrows.
Burrows' open and honest prose gives the reader access to a range of exercises, meditations, principles and ideas on choreography that allow artists and dance-makers to find their own aesthetic process.
It is a book for anyone interested in making performance, at whatever level and in whichever style.
Jonathan Burrows has toured and worked internationally as a dancer and choreographer. In 2002 he was commended by the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in New York for his contribution to contemporary dance, and in 2004 he received a New York Dance and Performance 'Bessie' for his work 'Both Sitting Duet'. He has made commissioned work for many companies, including William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt, Sylvie Guillem and The Royal Ballet. He has been Visiting Professor at the Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Hamburg.
Preface Dancing / Principles Material Habits Repetition Repetition Repetition Improvisation / Cut and paste / Choreography Form Exploration / Risk Subject / Inspiration / Stealing / Familiar movement / Referencing other sources/ Choreography / Self-expression Contract / Performance space / Language / Choreography Breaking The Rules Research / How and what? / Dramaturgy / Theory / Curiosity Interview / Unfinished business / Questions / Principles Financial limitations / Studios / Funding Applications Preparation / Rehearsal schedule / Heaviness Collaboration / Audience Originality / Paradox Technique / Parrot on your shoulder / Authenticity / Daily practice / Dancing / Style / Fiddling Virtuosity Hoarding / Beginnings Endings Keeping it going / Pacing Dub reggae / Rate of change / Simple material / Desperation Stillness and silence / Fear of being boring Minimal and maximal Does it work? / Showings / Mentoring Other bodies / States Distracting the self / Paradox / Choreography / Performance / Electric guitars Predictable and unpredictable / Expectation Narrative / Ballet / Continuity Continuity / Sectional pieces / Material / Make six things / Choreography / Flow / Relation Relation / Solos, duos, trios, quartets / Ideas Relation / Time / Rhythm Time Abstract dance Counterpoint / Formal elements / Difference Scores / Studios / Improvisation Chance / Empty hands / Gamut of movements / Limitations / Laborious work Place or space? Audience / Facing the front / Confrontation / Humour / Failure Audience Performance / Principles The marketplace / Earning a living / Administrating the work / Commissions Music / Collaboration / Silence Text Lighting / Technicians / Collaboration / Costumes / Shoes or no shoes? / Set design / Nudity Titles Filming / History / Collaboration / Mirrors / Human-scale Hierarchies / Who owns what? / Dancer or choreographer? / In it or out of it? How can I simplify all of this? Forget all this Bibliography Thanks Biography of the author Index