Directing the dance legacy of Doris Humphrey: the creative impulse of reconstruction

Main, Lesley ORCID logoORCID: (2012) Directing the dance legacy of Doris Humphrey: the creative impulse of reconstruction. Studies in Dance History . University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI, USA. ISBN 9780299285845. [Book]


Directing the Dance Legacy of Doris Humphrey looks inside four of Doris Humphrey’s major choreographic works—Water Study (1928), The Shakers (1931), With My Red Fires (1936), and Passacaglia (1938)—with an eye to how directorial strategies applied in recent contemporised stagings in the United States and Europe could work across the modern and contemporary dance genre. Author Lesley Main, a seasoned practitioner of Doris Humphrey choreography, stresses to the reader the need to balance respect for classical works from the modern dance repertory with the necessity for fresh directorial strategies, to balance between traditional practices and a creative role for the reconstructor.

Drawing upon her own dance experience, Main’s book addresses an area of dance research and practice that is becoming increasingly pertinent as the dancer-choreographers of the twentieth-century modern and contemporary dance are no longer alive to attend to the re-stagings of the body of their works. Historical paradigms are considered alongside current practices in theatre, with a comparative study of the staging of Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett illustrating that what is commonplace in one interpretive context is deemed controversial to the point of censorship in another.

Insightful and thought provoking, Directing the Dance Legacy of Doris Humphrey calls for the creation of new forms of directorial practice in dance beyond reconstruction. The radical new practices it proposes are sure to spark debate and fresh thinking across the dance field.

Item Type: Book
Keywords (uncontrolled): Doris Humphrey; reconstruction; restaging; interpretation; Passacaglia; Water Study; The Shakers; With My Red Fires; co-author
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 9629
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lesley Main
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 08:35
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2020 21:02

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