The Essential Guide to Contemporary Dance Techniques

Melanie Clarke
The Essential Guide to Contemporary Dance Techniques explores the multifaceted learning processes and underlying principles behind the technical skills and abilities of a contemporary dancer. The depth and complexity of this challenging sensorial, intellectual, reflective and creative process is presented with clarity, to support every training dancer in achieving the most from their learning experiences. Insights into three major technical forms: Graham technique, Cunningham technique and Release-based technique, reveal the distinct approaches, processes and experiences possible in contemporary dance training. Essential technical and performance considerations are covered, including: breath; alignment; core activation; connectivity; dynamic qualities of motion; use of the body; use of space; action and finally, relationships to the audience. With personal contributions from respected teachers at top dance institutions, this practical guide offers a unique insight into the expectations and processes of professional training classes as well as the success you can achieve with them. With images from real-life technique classes and dynamic performances, this is an essential companion for all contemporary dance students.
The Essential Guide to Contemporary Dance Techniques by Melanie Clarke

About the author

Melanie Clarke is a Programme Leader at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. She has been a lecturer in contemporary dance technique for over twenty years. Known for her knowledge about movement and the moving body, she is also a specialist in the symbol system for recording movement - Labanotation - and is an independent choreographer and performer.

Press Reviews

There is a leanness and economy in the writing of The Essential Guide to Contemporary Dance Techniques which makes it pleasurable to read. The technical lexicons of each technique and of Laban are well explained. Dancers, students and dance teachers alike will find much to enjoy and use in this manual.

- Dance Informa