Pin It
Favorite

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Middlebury Hosts Weekend Events to Celebrate 'The Place of Dance'

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 9:01 AM

click to enlarge Andrea Olsen - COURTESY OF ALAN KIMARA DIXON
  • Courtesy of Alan Kimara Dixon
  • Andrea Olsen


If you ask Andrea Olsen, dance has a role far beyond the stage or the studio.

"Since I teach in both environment and dance at Middlebury, I’m very interested in the way that place affects your movement and also how dance fits into the larger cultural matrix of the age," says the longtime dancer and Middlebury College professor. "My own personal feeling is that dance is essential to understanding human beings at this time on the planet, rather than being something extra or nonessential."

Olsen recently published a third book, The Place of Dance: A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making (Wesleyan University Press), coauthored by movement artist Caryn McHose. This weekend, the college hosts several events to mark the occasion.

A free dance performance featuring work by 11 artists interviewed or otherwise featured in the book is on Sunday, April 6, at 2 p.m.; Olsen and McHose teach a "Finding Your Feet" workshop on Saturday, April 5, 2-4 p.m.; and a corresponding photography exhibit goes on display at Middlebury's Davis Library.

"My fear is that because there's 'dance' in the title, people who don't feel they are dancers would feel it's not for them," Olsen admits.

That would be to miss the point entirely.

The Place of Dance
 is a 31-chapter book of stories, informational text, 30 interviews with movement artists and 125 dance photographs. The chapters are meant to mirror the (approximately) 31 days of a month. As with her two previous books, Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy and Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide, Olsen's latest includes dance-making exercises and writing prompts. The book can be read passively, but it invites participation, as well — each chapter cues a new movement and writing exercise.
click to enlarge Co-authors Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose - COURTESY OF MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE
  • Courtesy of Middlebury College
  • Co-authors Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose

"The three books are all in the same format," Olsen notes. "I consider them a triad, starting with an exploration of experiential anatomy; then [one's] connection to the environment; and then, with [The Place of Dance], a connection to creative work."

If a reader moves through The Place of Dance experientially, reading one chapter per day for a month, Olsen hopes that person would have gained "a little more clarity about the body, perhaps a dance or an investigation in movement, and a nice full writing journal." 

"The book is for dancers, but it’s also for the general public," she adds. "It spans a terrain that includes both someone seriously invested in dance as art, and someone interested in inhabiting their body with more awareness."


Tags: , , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

Related Locations

About The Author

Xian Chiang-Waren

Xian Chiang-Waren

Bio:
Xian Chiang-Waren is a staff arts writer at Seven Days.

More by Xian Chiang-Waren

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

On Topic...

Latest in Live Culture

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
e-newsletters:

All content © 2015 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation