Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide / Edition 1

Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide / Edition 1

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Middlebury College Museum of Art


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Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide / Edition 1

“Body is our first environment,” writes Andrea Olsen. “It is the medium through which we know the earth.” In a remarkable integration of environmental science, biology, meditation, and creative expression, Olsen, a dancer who teaches in the environmental studies program at Middlebury College, offers a guide to a holistic understanding of person and place. Part workbook, part exploration, Body and Earth considers the question of how we can best, most responsibly inhabit both our bodies and our planet.

Olsen displays an easy command of fields as diverse as geology, biochemistry, ecology, and anatomy as she explores the ways in which our bodies are derived from and connected to the natural world. But Body and Earth is not just a lesson, it is also an investigation. Arranged as a 31-day program, the book offers not only a wealth of scientific information, but also exercises for both exploring the body and connecting with place; illustrations and works of art that illuminate each chapter’s themes; and Olsen’s own meditations and reflections, connecting the topics to her personal history and experience.

Olsen insists that neither body nor landscape are separate from our fundamental selves, but in a culture which views the body as a mechanism to be trained and the landscape as a resource to be exploited, we need to learn to see again their fundamental wholeness and interconnection. Through hard data, reflection, exercises, and inspiration, Body and Earth offers a guide to responsible stewardship of both our planet and our persons.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781584650102
Publisher: Middlebury College Museum of Art
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Series: Middlebury Bicentennial Series in Environmental Studies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 576,228
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

ANDREA OLSEN is Professor of Dance and faculty member in the Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College. Author of Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy, she also performs, teaches yoga and creative writing, and offers workshops worldwide. CARYN McHOSE has a private practice in somatic movement therapy in Holderness, New Hampshire, and has taught creative movement internationally for more than forty years. She is coauthor, with Kevin Frank, of How Life Moves: Explorations in Meaning and Body Awareness

Table of Contents

About This Book
Day 1 Basic Concepts
Dance is both universal and highly personal.
To Do: Orientation
To Dance: Familiar-Voice Dancing
To Write: Personal Orientation About the Tonic System
Studio Notes: Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Day 2 Attitudes
People have complex views about the dancing body.
To Do: Finding Your Calcaneus
To Dance: Opposite-Voice Dancing
To Write: Why Dance?
Studio Notes: David Dorfman
Day 3 Flow
Flow is our oceanic heritage.
To Do: Rolling and Pouring
To Do: Spherical Awareness
To Dance: Plumb-Line Falls
To Write: Letting Words Flow
Studio Notes: Kathleen Hermesdorf
Day 4 Fire
Sometimes we need fire.
To Do: Vessel Breath
To Dance: Dancing through the Body Systems
To Write: Fire and You
Studio Notes: Caryn McHose
Day 5 Getting Started
You can only dance where you are.
To Do: Three Long Walks
To Dance: Presentations
To Write: Creative Conditions
Studio Notes: Penny Campbell
Day 6 Training and Technique
We train for the unknown.
What I Look for in a Performer (Tamar Rogoff)
To Do: Hip Reflex
To Dance: Light-Touch Duets
To Write: Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Studio Notes: Jeanine Durning
Day 7 Embracing Mystery
Dancing involves surrender.
To Do: Breathing Spot
To Do: Three-Part Breath
To Dance: Refreshing What’s Needed
To Write: What’s Your Experience of Mystery?
Studio Notes: Suprapto Suryodarmo
Being Seen, Being Moved: Authentic Movement and Performance, Part I
Day 8 Looking Back, Moving Forward
Dance history comes in several forms.
To Do: Releasing the Jaw
To Dance: Dance One Artist’s Dance
To Write: Your Dance Story
Studio Notes: Nancy Stark Smith
Studio Notes: Teena Marie Custer
Day 9 Improvising
Improvising can be experienced on a continuum.
To Do: Freeing the Girdles To Dance: Dance Your Partner
To Write: Improvisational Mind
Studio Notes: Lisa Gonzales, Pamela Vail, and Michael Chorney
Day 10 Composing
Composition is arranging.
To Do: Four Movement Qualities
To Dance: Framing
To Dance: Composing with a Group
To Do and Write: Dance-a-Day Notebook
Studio Notes: Jim Coleman
Day 11 Choreographing
Choreography involves the why of a thing.
To Do: Contra-lateral Yield and Push
To Dance: Building Trios
To Write and Do: Concept-Driven Dance
Studio Notes: David Dorfman
Studio Notes: John Elder
Day 12 Visceral Movement
How do you know whether you’re moving or still?
To Do: Pelvic Floor
To Dance: The Antidote-to-the-Antidote Dance
To Write: Artist’s Statement
Studio Notes: Bebe Miller
Day 13 Rehearsing
The most stunning dancing happens in rehearsals.
To Do: Ball of Energy
To Dance: Body-Parts Duets
To Dance: Declarations
To Write: Reviewing Rehearsing
Studio Notes: Peter Schmitz
Day 14 Sound and Music
Ears are always open.
To Do: Resonance
To Dance: Dancing Twelve
To Dance: DJ Time
To Write: Music Journal
Studio Notes: Michael Chorney
Day 15 Space and Place
Space shapes the body, and the body shapes space.
To Do: Parallel Lines in the Sand
To Dance: Space Plan
To Write and Do: Gestalt Dance
Studio Notes: Chris Aiken
Day 16 Endings
Don’t abandon your ending.
To Do: Practicing Ending
To Dance: Calling End
To Write: Ending?
Studio Notes: Robert Swinston, on Merce Cunningham
Day 17 Words and Feedback
Language shapes a way of thinking.
Reinterpreting Butterflies
To Do: Watching and Writing
To Dance: Dance-Back
To Speak: Talking about Dancing
To Write: Performance Response
Studio Notes: Kate Trammell
Studio Notes: Deborah Jowitt
Day 18 Touch and Partnering
Touch and partnering involve a yield toward center.
To Do: Layers of Touch
To Dance: Landscapes
To Write: Touching and Being Touched
Studio Notes: Terry Creach
Day 19 Vision
Vision links past with future and communicates the present.
To Do: Expanding the Skull
To Do: Flowing and Forming
To Dance: Postcard Dances
To Write: Vision Statement
Studio Notes: Lisa Nelson
Dance, Place, and Video: Otto Ramstad
Day 20 Breath and Voice
Breath affects the phrasing and timing of movement and vocalization.
To Do: Resonance
To Do: Talking to the Floor
To Dance: Dancing Your Story
To Write and Present: Speaking Your Artist’s Statement
Studio Notes: Alex Draper
Day 21 Textures, Fabrics, and Costumes
Costumes are experienced as part of the body.
To Do: Costume Day
To Dance: Opposite-Voice Costumes
To Do and Write: Laying Out Possibilities
Studio Notes: Heidi Henderson
Day 22 Dancing with Light
Light makes things happen.
To Do: Lighting Board
To Dance: Four Lighting Possibilities
To Write and Do: Light Your Dance with a Designer
Seven Questions to Ask Yourself
Studio Notes: Kathy Couch
Day 23 From Studio to Stage
Performance week is a time to focus.
To Do: Saying Your Name
To Dance: Rehearsal Coaching
To Write and Speak: Elevator Pitch
Studio Notes: Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Day 24 Performing
Performance invokes transformation.
To Do: Tuning Stillness and Moving Warm-Up
To Dance: Thresholds
To Write: What’s Your Relationship to Performance?
Studio Notes: Susan Prins
Being Seen, Being Moved: Authentic Movement and Performance, Part II
Day 25 Healthy Dancing
The nervous system governs our actions and reactions. •To Do: Imagining the Cortex Central Nervous System
To Dance: Dancing through the Nervous System, Part I
To Write: What’s Healthy Dancing to You?
Studio Notes: Stuart Singer
Day 26 Healing Dancing
Dancing and dance making create agency.
To Do: Embodying the Four Layers of the Nervous System
To Dance: Dancing through the Nervous System, Part II
To Write: Reflecting on Writing
Studio Notes: Paul Matteson
Day 27 Teaching Dancing
Teaching is learning.
To Do: Heel Foot and Ankle Foot
To Dance: Extending Your Range
To Write: Teaching Dancing
Six Composing Basics
Reviewing Ten Landmarks for Efficient Movement
Studio Notes: David Dorfman
Day 28 Dance and Yoga
Dance and yoga are longtime partners.
To Do: Articulating Eight Horizontal Diaphragms
To Dance: Preparations for Sun Salutation
To Do and Write: Savasana
Studio Notes: Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Day 29 Nature and Creativity
Body is Earth.
To Do: Place Map
To Dance: be-ing Score
To Write: An Experience in Nature
Studio Notes: Andrea Olsen, Art Making and the Environment
Day 30 Concerning the Spiritual
Dance is embodied spirit.
To Do: Three Contemplative Practices
To Dance: Sacred Space
To Write: A Sense of the Sacred
Studio Notes: Janet Adler
Day 31 Personal Project
Create your own chapter.
Selected Bibliography
Publication Credits
Subject Index
Art Index

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