Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer

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9780819574367: Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer
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The unique career of choreographer Liz Lerman has taken her from theater stages to shipyards, and from synagogues to science labs. In this wide-ranging collection of essays and articles, she reflects on her life-long exploration of dance as a vehicle for human insight and understanding of the world around us. Lerman has been described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art.” Here, she combines broad outlooks on culture and society with practical applications and accessible stories. Her expansive scope encompasses the craft, structure, and inspiration that bring theatrical works to life as well as the applications of art in fields as diverse as faith, aging, particle physics, and human rights law. Offering readers a gentle manifesto describing methods that bring a horizontal focus to bear on a hierarchical world, this is the perfect book for anyone curious about the possible role for art in politics, science, community, motherhood, and the media. The paperback edition includes an afterword with updates and additions to each section of the book.

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About the Author:

LIZ LERMAN is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and led it until 2011. Current projects involve Healing Wars, an investigation of the impact of war on medicine; the genre-twisting work Blood Muscle Bone with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Urban Bush Women; work with the London Sinfonietta; and an online project called “The Treadmill Tapes: Ideas on the Move.” In 2013 she curated Wesleyan University's symposium "Innovations: Intersection of Art and Science,” bringing together teams of artists and scientists from North America to present their methods and findings.

Review:

"Lerman's concise text inspires and equips the reader with a host of new perspectives from which to tackle the making of artworks. ...Lerman's ideas are novel, deep, and challenging and, as such, require time to take in, analyze, and potentially adopt."—Lisa Jo Sagolla, BackStage magazine

“(R)eaders will be excited to evaluate and evolve their own practices. Anyone interested in making or teaching dance, regardless of where the dance takes place, who is dancing, or what it is about, will agree that this book matters.”—Karen Schupp, Journal of Dance Education

“The strengths of this book lie in its broad reach and in Lerman’s capacity to share nuanced learning in conversational language. She investigates numerous processes central to making, working, and living in various professional and personal communities. ‘Hiking’ with wisdom and humility across the horizon of these years, she manages, nonetheless, to dig deeply...Highly recommended.”—S.E. Friedler, CHOICE

“Hiking the Horizontal constructs a portrait of a compelling artist whose convictions are at the core of her creative engagement in dance—a choreographer whose activism is personal.”—Rita Felciano, Dance Chronicle

"Hiking the Horizontal is a necessary addition to the libraries of dance aficionados and artists. But it also has much to offer to the broader dialogue on the arts. Lerman is thoughtful, insightful and gentle in her approach, and her message carries deep value." —Peter DeVries, Dance International

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