Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation has long been a recognized standard in the field of dance education, and its fourth edition is replete with new and updated material and tools that will help students develop their skills in each step of the choreographic experience, from finding an idea to staging the performance.
Choreography is equally suited for use in high school and university classes. You can use it to guide your students through the creative and choreographic processes, applying instructional strategies such as problem solving, updated technology integration, and connections to dance education standards.
The latest edition of Choreography has these additions:
• A new student web resource that includes 23 video clips that reinforce the book's content, show the creative and choreographic processes presented in the book, and help students apply the choreographic elements to their own work.
• Updated or new chapter content that supports the dance education standards as they apply to the creative process, improvisation, and choreographic development and to the technical aspects of staging performances
• Expanded movement explorations to help students discover movement using more than one sense; these explorations are arranged by learning style (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic/tactile) and range from easy to more challenging in level
• Developing Your Skills sections revised to align with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards processes of creating, performing, responding, and connecting; these sections help students apply what they have learned in the chapter as they relate to dance standards, and they are arranged from simple to complex to help students increase their learning
The book also includes problem-solving exercises to focus student thinking on the explorations and experiences they encountered in the chapter. Factual and conceptual aspects of the chapter activities are then addressed in follow-up questions, helping to engage students in critical thinking as they learn to transfer their understanding to other situations.
The new web resource will further students' creative and professional development in choreography. This resource contains video clips that show creative and choreographic processes presented in the book, editable forms and checklists that students can use, assignments that students can complete, and web links and resources for further study. Choreography also comes with an instructor guide that offers teacher-directed lesson plans and teaching tips.
The book is arranged into four chapters. Chapter 1 focuses on improvisation as the key to the choreographic process, and it provides a framework for creating movement and dances to help students understand the dance-making process. The chapter also offers solutions to common beginning choreographic problems. Chapter 2 explains the use of the craft of choreography in designing and shaping the dance. It discusses the use of stage space, the use of various forms of technology to enhance dance, and how to make more out of less by manipulating and varying movements. Chapter 3 explores what to strive for in shaping and forming a dance, and it describes common dance forms. In Chapter 4, students are introduced to the stepps involved in putting their dance onstage. Chapters 3 and 4 also include Experience in Action features, which encourage students to delve deeper into the chapter topic, and Choreography Challenge features, which challenge students to test their skills.
Choreography provides students with a complete choreographic experience, inviting them to share the joys of artistic expression through dance. As such, it is the go-to resource for teachers who are looking to provide meaningful experiences in a well-rounded learning environment and for students who are intent on improving their choreographic abilities.
Sandra Cerny Minton, PhD, is co-coordinator of the dance education master's program at the University of Northern Colorado. She has 26 years' experience running a dance program at the university level and has choreographed and directed numerous main stage concerts. She also taught for 10 years in public schools. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from UCLA, where she studied under nationally renowned dance educator Alma Hawkins. Minton was a founding member of the National Dance Education Organization and has served as publications director for the National Dance Association. She has been a frequent presenter at national conferences on the topics of creative movement and choreographic techniques. She is widely published in journals and has authored or coauthored eight books. In 1999, Minton was selected as the recipient of the National Dance Association Artist/Scholar Award, and in 2001 she taught in Finland as a Fulbright Scholar.