Review Of "Making Dances That Matter: Resources For Community Creativity" By A. Halprin

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Halprin (b.1920) is an internationally renowned activist, author, choreographer, and teacher. She is also one of the American pioneers of postmodern dance and an acknowledged innovator in exploring dance as a healing art. This co-authored volume, her fifth book, focuses on ways to create dances that bring about social change. Kaplan (psychotherapist, political activist, permaculture designer) has authored two works and collaborated with Halprin on all her books since the mid-1990s. The current volume offers philosophical foundations for Halprin's approach and presents practical processes she has employed to create healing community dance rituals. These rituals address common personal, local, and global concerns. They draw on her decades-long community dance practice using her widely replicated Circle the Earth and Planetary Dance as examples. Each chapter describes steps in building these dance rituals, which combine artistic, social, and cultural systems. The detailed methods offered effectively illustrate Halprin’s larger intentions. The activities and guidelines in this clear, accessible book present a path to follow for those committed to making dance rituals in and for communities. As Halprin approaches her centenary year, the book provides a fitting reflection on her legacy. Supporting questions, scores, a list of resources, numerous black-and-white photos, and a useful index are included. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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