Movement to Music: Musicians in the Dance Studio

Movement to Music: Musicians in the Dance Studio

Movement to Music: Musicians in the Dance Studio

Movement to Music: Musicians in the Dance Studio


A companion to the author's Music for the Dance, this work explores the collaboration that takes place in the studio between dance teachers, musicians, and students. Written in an easily accessible style, the book covers topics of interest to all three participant groups, including training an accompanist and communicating musical needs, collaborating on original choreography, analyzing movement patterns, and formal training and career possibilities for musicians. Also included are original interviews with leading artists in the field, whose careers span the history of modern dance.


Movement to Music: Musicians in the Dance Studio is a companion volume to Music for the Dance: Reflections on a Collaborative Art (Greenwood Press, 1989). the first book dealt mainly with the creative collaboration between choreographers and composers and with aspects of theatrical performance that involve dancers, conductors, and instrumentalists.

This second volume explores what happens before all the public theatrical events--namely, the collaboration between dance teachers, musicians, and dancers in the studio, during both rehearsals and classes. Every level of training for theatrically based dance is considered, from creative movement for the very young to the daily workouts of professional ballet and modern concert dance companies. This exploration also encompasses jazz dance, as well as styles based on African and Afro-Caribbean traditions.

The book does not presuppose musical literacy or extensive knowledge of dance technique. It is intended to be easily accessible to students of both music and dance, as well as to parents, educators, and theater-goers who enjoy knowing what goes on behind the scenes of performing arts. of special interest to dance historians is some of the original material gathered by the author in personal interviews with leading artists in the field, including musicians, performing dancers, and dance educators whose experiences span the early days of modern dance up to avant-garde works of the present.

Topics covered include the musical concerns of dance teachers: how to find and train a suitable musician, how to communicate musical needs, how to collaborate for recital pieces or other original choreography, and how to encourage musicality in young dancers. For musicians, topics of particular interest include: existing musical repertoire for dance; how to analyze movement patterns; techniques of musical improvisation for classes in ballet, modern dance, jazz . . .

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