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Simone Forti (Hardback)

Improvising a Life

P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Pages: 416
Illustrations: 49 b&w photos
ISBN: 9780819501097
Published: 25th April 2024
Casemate UK Academic



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First critical biography of this visionary artist written by a dance scholar.

Simone Forti, groundbreaking improvisor, has spent a lifetime weaving together the movement of her mind with the movement of her body to create a unique oeuvre situated at the intersection of dancing and art practices. Her seminal Dance Constructions from the 1960s crafted a new approach to dance composition and helped inspire the investigations of Judson Dance Theater. In the 1970s, Forti's explorations of animal movements expanded that legacy to launch improvisation as a valuable artform in its own right. From her early forays into vocal accompaniment to her News Animations, Forti has long integrated gesture and text into compelling performances that consistently stretched the boundaries of dance to layer abstract movement with story-telling and political commentary. Her "Land Portraits" series brought an immersive ecological experience to New York City stages in the 1980s, and she is a beloved teacher and mentor whose Body, Mind, World workshops have inspired dancers around the world. In this beautifully written book, author Ann Cooper Albright braids archival research, extensive interviews, and detailed movement analyses of Forti's performances to provide the first kinesthetically-informed and critically-nuanced history of Forti's multifaceted and extensive career.

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