The Language of Dance by Mary Wigman ; Translated from the German by Walter Sorell
Middletown, CT. : Wesleyan University Press, 1966. First edition. Hardcover. 118 pages ; b/w photographs ; 27 cm. $12.50 dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
THE LANGUAGE OF DANCE by MARY WIGMAN
Translated from the German by WALTER SORELL
NEARING the ninth decade of her life, the great German dancer and choreographer looks back over her fifty year career in the dance—not to detail the circumstances of her living and working, but to consider the art of the dance itself, its aesthetics, its nature as expression and as interpretation, its relation to the aspirations and the spiritual needs of man.
Along the way, she pauses to consider some of her own more notable creations—Totenmal, Farewell and Thanksgiving, Witch Dance, and others: the situations that led to their composition, their roots in her own thought and experience, the strange and subtle ways in which an idea or a sensory impression grew and changed as it was translated into the language of dance.
Hers is a book demanding close thought, for it puts into words a group of concepts whose natural mode of expression is not in words. But for the insight it gives into the creative mind at work, especially in the field of the dance, it is a work of permanent importance.
Born in Hannover in the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm I, she is today a citizen of West Berlin, where her present school is located. For more than half a century, as performer, choreographer, and teacher, she has been one of the great pioneers in dance, known and honored throughout the Western world. Of this book, her only written testament, she says:
"I have been asked many times to write a book about my Iffe and my dance. And I started to jot down some notes that might help me compose my memoirs. Reading them again after a while, I somehow rejected the idea of telling the story of my life, for it would turn out to be a mixture of personal and artistic experiences; and I have always avoided talking about my private affairs. So I decided to write a book about dance— dance as I saw it, as I lived it, as I loved it. The result is The Language of Dance."
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