The Six Questions: Acting Techniques for Dance Performance

Overview

In the late twenties, actors and directors of the Group Theatre, who were pioneering the use of Stanislavski's teachings, saw the value of teaching ballet and the emerging modern dance. Actors now routinely learn dance, but dancers rarely study acting. In The Six Questions, Nagrin maintains that a command of acting techniques allows the dancer to couple the passion of a body in motion with the heart and mind of the dancer.

In five parts, the book first examines the personal ...

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Overview

In the late twenties, actors and directors of the Group Theatre, who were pioneering the use of Stanislavski's teachings, saw the value of teaching ballet and the emerging modern dance. Actors now routinely learn dance, but dancers rarely study acting. In The Six Questions, Nagrin maintains that a command of acting techniques allows the dancer to couple the passion of a body in motion with the heart and mind of the dancer.

In five parts, the book first examines the personal essentials demanded by dance. The second part looks at the pitfalls inherent in the act of performing from vanity to self-hatred. The third part, the core of the book, poses six questions: Who? is doing what? to whom? where and when? and why? and against what obstacle? In the fourth part, Nagrin looks at the tools for working on the role, and the fifth part enters into the very act of performing. All of the work is handled in terms of movement alone: no dialogue or scenes from plays are used.

The Six Questions is a companion piece to Nagrin's other works, How To Dance Forever, and Dance and the Specific Image: Improvisation. Together they present an invaluable teaching and learning tool for anyone in love with dance.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The first section (Chapters One through Six) present a straightforward, detailed but not overly technical discussion of the theoretical aspects of acting technique for dance performance, referring the reader to specific relevant exercises, described in the latter, workbook section (Chapters Six through 13). B&w photographs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822956242
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Nagrin, dubbed “the great loner of American dance” by Dance Magazine, has worked with Martha Graham, Helen Tamiris, Mme. Anderson-Ivantzova, and Anna Sokolow. He has danced on Broadway, in film and television, and has toured nationally and internationally as a solo concert artist. He is professor emeritus of dance at Arizona State University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 The Theory
1 Work on the Self 3
2 Eroding Elements Of the Performing State 21
3 The Six Questions: The Syntax of the Performing State 33
4 More Work On the Role 58
5 Performing 87
Pt. 2 The Workbook
App. A Anecdotal Material 195
App. B A Beat Analysis of Dance in the Sun 200
App. C Susanne K. Langer on Performance: A Critique 203
App. D "The Duende," by Federico Garcia Lorca 208
Index 217
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