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Dance and the Alexander Technique: Exploring the Missing Link (With DVD)

by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol and Luc Vanier University of Illinois Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 216 pages
AU$64.00 NZ$66.96
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In Dance and the Alexander Technique, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol and Luc Vanier utilize their ten years of research on developmental movement and dance training to explore the relationship between a specific movement technique and the basic principles of support and coordination. The Alexander Technique, developed in the early twentieth century by F. M. Alexander, can be used to enhance dexterity in all types of activities, from everyday actions as mundane as tooth-brushing to highly demanding dance movements. Applying the tenets of this technique through the lens of a specific subset of principles called the Dart Procedures, the authors offer a unique approach for using the Alexander Technique in dance and other activities. The principles of this technique are used by people in all walks of life and have proven to be effective for enhancing performance and improving overall health and well-being.

Amply illustrated and supplemented with a DVD that demonstrates the concepts and applications of the Alexander Technique, this book will be highly instrumental for dancers, teachers of dance, and anyone interested in giving everyday movements more efficiency, dexterity, and elegance.

Credits ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xvii part one Groundwork: Dance, Alexander Technique, and Dart Procedures 1 Introduction to Part One 3 1 Assumptions and Foundations 9 2 Alexander Technique: Overview and Basic Principles 17 3 The Dart Procedures: Overview and Key Concepts 27 part two From Crawling to Leaping: Dart Procedures Applied to Dance Training 41 Introduction to Part Two 43 4 Primary and Secondary Curves: Looking at Movement through a New Lens 45 5 Spirals for Connectivity and Lengthening 57 6 Discovering the Resiliency of the System 71 part three The Right Thing Does Itself: Alexander Principles Applied to Dance Training 83 Introduction to Part Three 85 7 The Whole Self 87 8 Becoming Aware of Habit 95 9 Head First: Facilitating Coordination 103 10 Allowing versus Doing 111 11 Releasing the Catch: Direction 117 part four Applications to Dance Movements 129 Introduction to Part Four 131 12 Applications to Ballet 133 13 Applications to Contemporary Modern Dance Technique 149 14 Applications for Teachers: Correction with Direction 165 Epilogue 177 Bibliography 181 DVD Contents 185 Index 187

“This is a valuable book for the dance industry. While the book contains a considerable wealth of information, the writing is clear and the exercises are easy to follow. It would be possible to use exercises directly from the book or DVD. . . . Dancers will benefit from owning this book, but it will be most valuable in the hands of dance teachers, who can pass on the information through experiential workshop sessions to their students.”—Research in Dance Education
Rebecca Nettl-Fiol is a professor of dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a dance choreographer, and the coeditor of The Body Eclectic: Evolving Practices in Dance Training. Luc Vanier is an associate professor in the dance department at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee's Peck School of the Arts and a dance choreographer.