Dance improvisation, the intriguing phenomenon of the creative process alive in the moving body, exists powerfully, sublimely - lending insight, solving problems, allowing moments of transcendence, diversion, and delight. Flourishing especially since the postmodern movement of the 1960s, it has come into its own in the performing arts. While there are many books containing ideas for developing improvisations, few have tackled the difficult questions: “What is dance improvisation?” “How does it work?” or “What is its body of knowledge?”
The Moment of Movement goes beyond lists of improvisations and into the heart of improvising. As in their previous book, The Intimate Act of Choreography, the authors pursue both the philosophical and the practical. They begin by examining the creative process as it applies to movement and especially the kinesthetic way in which the body knows and uses movement. They answer the often unstated and pertinent questions of the novice; investigate the particular skills and traits needed by the leader; consider ways of working with specific populations; and provide challenging material for advanced movers. They discuss the use of music, and the specific situation of improvisation in performance. For leaders who want to design their own improvisations, they trace the evolution of an idea into an actual content and structure. They also address the controversial issue of the legitimacy of improvisation in an academic curriculum. A final chapter presents hundreds of improvs and improv ideas, grouped into units and cross-referenced.
The Moment of Movement is not tied to any one point of view. The authors’ presentation of a broad range of material is flexible enough for use by choreographers, directors, educators, and therapists. In its perceptive investigation of the experiential and conceptual aspects of dance improvisation, this book articulates the ephemeral.