The Motional Improvisation of Al Wunder  book cover
SAVE
$32.00
1st Edition

The Motional Improvisation of Al Wunder



  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 16, 2021
ISBN 9781138194687
May 16, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

 
SAVE ~ $32.00
was $160.00
USD $128.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Preview

Book Description

The Motional Improvisation of Al Wunder takes readers on a journey through the life history, creative genealogies and unique working processes of one of the master teachers of Euro-American postmodern movement-based improvisational performance who has, until now, received scant critical attention.

The book offers a long overdue examination of the significant impact made by an important figure on grassroots movement-based improvisational performance in 1960s/1970s US and in Australia from the 1980s onwards. It revisits the work of groundbreaking New York choreographer Alwin Nikolais, with whom Wunder trained and for whom he later taught in the 1960s; covers collaborations with founders of ‘Action Theater’ Ruth Zaporah and ‘Motivity Aerial Dance’ Terry Sendgraff as part of the explosion of improvisation in San Francisco in the 1970s and tracks the consolidation of a unique pedagogy that would see hundreds of students learn how to map their performative creativity in Melbourne from the 1980s onwards. It conducts a fascinating investigation into the wellsprings of Wunder’s approach to improvised performance as an end in itself, covering teaching innovations such as his use of the Hum Drum, positive feedback, personal power sources and articulators. It includes valuable contributions from a number of ex-students and established Australian artists in dance, music and visual art who share the profound impact Wunder has made on their creative practices.

This book will be a valuable resource to movement/dance improvisation students and teachers at undergraduate and postgraduate level and independent artists drawn to movement improvisation as performance.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Contributors

Preface

Introduction

It began with a class

Why Wunder?

The author and contributors

Chapter outlines

Wunder’s definition of Totally Improvised Performance

A Unique Lexicon

 

PART I I WONDER

Chapter One: Creative Genealogies

A snapshot of an unfocussed 1950s New York teenager with a dodgy leg

It began with a class

Alwin Nikolais

Henry Street

A quick spell in Nikolais’ company

Teaching Improvisation

Artistic Antecedents

Rudolf Laban

Mary Wigman

Hanya Holm

Decentralization

Nikolais and Improvisation

Judson Dance Theater

 

Chapter Two: Theatre of the Ordinary

Celebrating Difference

A Typical Class: relived and reconstructed through embodied memory and scraps of notes

Self-teacher

Total improvisation

The Big Four

Space

Vision

Peripheral space

Shape

Time

Motion

Motional

Chapter Three: The Dancing Drummer

Sound and Motion

Non-Western Influences

Jazz

Hum Drumming

Chapter Four: Shifting Place

San Francisco

Berkeley Dance Theater & Gymnasium

Open Scores

Ranting and raving on street corners

Fertile Void

Melbourne

TotO

Cubitt Street

Cecil Street

One-on-One

 

PART TWO PEDAGOGICAL FOUNDATIONS

Chapter Five: Positive Feedback and Power Sources

The Voice of Judgement

What is Going Right

Inside Feedback

Outside Feedback

Impulse, Structure and Positive Feedback

Power Sources

Coenesthesis

I Can

Chapter Six: Developing A Descriptive Language

Teaching With Words

Learning With Words

Phenomenological Description

What Is It?

PART III STRUCTURES

Chapter Seven: Basic, Necessary and Clarifying Articulators

Articulus

Basic Articulators

In Place

Still Movement or Dancing with Stillness

Stillness in Space and Time

Locomotion

The Necessary Articulator or Initiating and Responding

YES

The Clarifying Articulators

 

Chapter Eight: The Four Modes: Pedestrian, Character, Caricature and Abstract

Polymedia

Pedestrian

Boring Pedestrian

Character

Caricature

Freedom

Energy, High Energy, Extreme Energy

Abstract

Dance is the Art of Motion, not Emotion

It’s a Showing Of, Not Showing Off

 

Chapter Nine: Four Possible Ways of Entertaining an Audience: Expertise, Being Beautiful or Profound, Humour and Challenge

Across Boundaries

Expertise

Habit

Beauty

Humour

Challenge

Control

Risk & Failure & Trust

States of Mind

Searching

Working

Inspired

Chapter Ten: Word/Body

Talking Performers

Pregnant statements and fast talking

Gibberish

Words and Movement

Movement Into Words

PART FOUR LIVED EXPERIENCE

Chapter Eleven: Beyond Wunder

by Warren Burt

Leesa Nash

David Naylor

Lynden Nicholls

Anne O’Keeffe

Concluding Note Forward Roll

References

Appendix Shades of Green by Peter Trotman

Index

...
View More

Author(s)

Biography

H.R. Elliott is an improviser, dancer and teacher who has performed and taught in Australia, Germany, the UK and the US. She is an Affiliate and Visiting Lecturer in Physical Theatre at the University of Huddersfield.