Review Of "New Dance: Writings On Modern Dance" By D. Humphrey

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Doris Humphrey (1895-1958) was a noted American modern-dance choreographer, teacher, and performer. This book, edited by Humphrey's son, collects a group of Humphrey's essays, interviews, and choreographic notes. Part 1 comprises essays about various aspects of her work in dance and an interview with her on teaching modern-dance composition. Although some of this material has appeared before in a variety of venues--including Humphrey's seminal The Art of Making Dances, ed. by Barbara Pollack (1959)--Woodford also includes previously unpublished work. Part 2 offers Humphrey's notes on 42 dances she choreographed from 1926 to 1956. Arranged in chronological order, these notes include many reflections, some brief and a few more extensive. Taken together, the two sections focus on Humphrey's principal areas of interest and also reveal how ideas central to her philosophy developed over the course of her career. Evident throughout are her interest in the dialogue between abstract and narrative approaches to dance making and her broader concern with the role of social justice in the arts. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.


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