Spiced with wit and strong opinions, the third installment in Daniel Nagrin's trilogy explores the art of choreography through the life's work of an important artist. This is the first book to approach choreography through content rather than structure.
The first in a trilogy of books by one of the leading figures in American dance, Dance and the Specific Image includes more than 100 improvisational structures that Daniel Nagrin created with his company, the Workgroup, and taught in dance classes and workshops throughout the United States. Robby Barnett of the Pilobolus Dance Theater called the book "a vivid and fascinating document of his thinking—more movement and performance and, of course, on his own extraordinary life in dance."
'Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image' examines the ways choreographic elements inform cinematic operations in dancefilm. It examines some of the most significant collaborations between dancers, choreographers & filmmakers presenting new models of cinematic movement that are historically informed.
First examining the personal essentials demanded by dance, this book then looks at the pitfalls inherent in the act of performing. It asks questions about the essence of dance, going on to the tools required for roles, with the sixth question being the performance itself.
This all-inclusive guide to the art of creating dance moves and routines, written by the advisor and former dancer of the Martha Graham School and company, contains 247 projects that guide the user through a myriad of topics. Concepts and techniques such as form, sequencing, variation, surrealism, abstract movement, improvisation, ritual and ceremony, space, and floor patterns are examined and explained, encouraging the student to experiment and create with movement.
The author writes: This book was conceived after 35 years of work in dance which had brought me in touch with almost every kind of form and philosophy and which had suggested to me certain conclusions which I was anxious to articulate. My appointment as dance lecturer at the University of Birmingham in 1965 provided me with the opportunity to work out these conclusions in a practical way and gave me the incentive to write this book. When I returned to London in 1978 I found a great striving for 'something new', expressed in publications, mushroom organisations and an almost audible shriek for classes which would provide that something. I would suggest that it is not these sources which will fill the gap for dancers and choreographers, but the rediscovery of forgotten routes which will enable the individual to create his or her own new dance. My own work with Rudolf Laban, Kurt Jooss and Sigurd Leder leads me to believe that it is by returning to the ideas of these great pioneers of theatrical dance that the way forward may be found. My aims in this book are four-fold:  To examine the roots of anatomical and physiological action through practical experience;  to identify principles and laws arising from these roots in relation to the performing arts;  to find evidence of similar roots in the work of those who have influenced attitudes, philosophies and techniques from the 16th century; and  to formulate principles and rules for today by looking once again into the origin of dance within the body and spirit in terms of its own laws.