How to Land: Finding Ground in an Unstable World presents a new look at embodiment that treats gravity as the organizing force for thinking and moving through our twenty-first century world. Author Ann Cooper Albright argues that a renewed attention to gravity as both a metaphoric sensibility and a physical experience can help transform moments of personal disorientation into an opportunity to reflect on the important relationship between individual
resiliency and communal responsibility.
Long one of the nation's preeminent thinkers in dance improvisation, Albright asks how dancers are affected by repeated images of falling bodies, bombed-out buildings, and displaced peoples, as well as recurring evocations of global economies and governments in discursive free fall or dissolution. What kind of fear gets lodged in connective tissue when there is an underlying anxiety that certain aspects of our world are in danger of falling apart? To answer this question, she draws on analyses
of perception from cognitive studies, tracing the discussions of meaning, body and language through the work of Mark Johnson, Thomas Csordas, and George Lakoff, among others. In addition, she follows the past decade of debate in contemporary media concerning the implications of the weightless and
two-dimensional social media exchanges on structures of attention and learning, as well as their effect on the personal growth and socialization of a generation of young adults. Each chapter interweaves discussions of movement actions with their cultural implications, documenting specific bodily experiences and then tracing their ideological ripples out through the world.
Ann Cooper Albright is Professor of Dance at Oberlin College and author of Engaging Bodies: the Politics and Poetics of Corporeality (2013); Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing (2010); Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller (2007); Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997) and co-editor of Moving History/Dancing Cultures (2001), and Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind (2003)