front cover of The Body Can Speak
The Body Can Speak
Essays on Creative Movement Education with Emphasis on Dance and Drama
Edited by Annelise Mertz. Foreword by Joseph Roach
Southern Illinois University Press, 2002

Movement is our first language, our universal language. Expression of body movement is the very basis of life as the nineteen contributors to The Body Can Speak: Essays on Creative Movement Education with Emphasis on Dance and Drama attest. Students use their bodies as an instrument of expression, and movement as medium; this means investigating space, energy, time, and motion in order to gain insight into these basic principles. At the same time they gain essential awareness of the self. Such work stimulates the senses and intellect, and develops a tangible new vision to satisfy the human need for aesthetic and artistic expression.

As editor of this collection, accomplished dancer and artistic director Annelise Mertz provides both an aesthetic appreciation for creative movement education as well as practical pedagogy for incorporating dance and drama into contemporary curriculum. Mertz has assembled here a definitive body of work from fellow artists and former students that speaks to the need to actively promote art as part of education.

The book gives voice to accomplished teachers, actors, dancers, directors, authors, and choreographers who share their experiences while they address creative movement education from preschool through college. Forty-eight photographs add an illuminating visual dimension to this wealth of stimulating ideas. The Body Can Speak provides a balanced and varied mosaic, with each essay offering evidence that creative movement education is vital for human development.

Contributors include Becky Engler-Hicks, Ruth Grauert, Anna Halprin, Joanna G. Harris, Margaret N. H’Doubler, Michael Hoeye, Murray Louis, Annelise Mertz, Jaime Nisenbaum, Carol North, Jeff Rehg, Shirley Ririe, G. Hoffman Soto, Emma D. Sheehy, Harold Taylor, Branislav Tomich, Dorothy M. Vislocky, and Joan J. Woodbury.


front cover of The Moment Of Movement
The Moment Of Movement
Dance Improvisation
Lynne Anne Blom
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988

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.


logo for American Library Association
Move, Play, Learn
Interactive Storytimes With Music, Movement, And More
Alyssa Jewell
American Library Association, 2020

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter