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Bodies of Thought

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“She’s so intently in, staying there,  screaming at images that radiate from her heart like talk balloons in a cartoon” – dancer Helen Herbertson.

Bodies of Thought: Twelve Australian Choreographers illuminates some of these images through its concise focus on 12 innovative and influential Australian contemporary dance artists.

Their original choreographies, from the 1980s to the present, chart some of the major developments in the field in Australia.

Bodies of Thought, ed Erin Brannigan and Virginia Baxter, published by Realtime and Wakefield Press, $34.95

Bodies of Thought, ed Erin Brannigan and Virginia Baxter, published by Realtime and Wakefield Press, $34.95

Included are sections on Lucy Guerin, Russell Dumas, Gideon Obarzanek, Ros Warby, Rosalind Crisp, Helen Herbertson, Tess de Quincey, Sue Healey, Stephen Page, Meryl Tankard, Gary Stewart and Kate Champion.

As with all choreographers, they have differing aesthetic preoccupations and cultural influences shaping their works. However, editors Erin Brannigan and Virginia Baxter have divided the artists into four sections according to their commonalities: Between Dance Practice and Choreography; Dance and the World: The duality of craft and content; Dance Theatre: Expanding the Form; and Dancing at the Intersections of Time, Space and Language.

Each chapter highlights a work by the artist, an essay by a leading dance scholar and an artist interview, offering insights into the creation of the work and giving the reader an understanding of the broader network of ideas and artists that contextualise individual works.

Complemented by beautiful photos and Brannigan’s insightful introduction to each chapter, this is a must-have for all dance practitioners, students and dance lovers.

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