FEDORA Book Club

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20 July 2021

FEDORA's Activities, Experience Opera and Ballet Online


Looking for books to read this summer?

Discover a selection of dance books that we have handpicked for you in collaboration with our partner Dance Icons!

With topics ranging from dance history to dance and cinematography, both in English and in French, we are pleased to share this list of books with those of you who wish to learn more about the world of choreography.

Choreographing Discourses, A Mark Franko Reader

By Mark Franko and Alessandra Nicifero

This book brings together essays originally published by Mark Franko between 1996 and the contemporary era, and offers an important resource in the fields of Dance and Performance Studies.



Choreography Invisible, The Disappearing Work of Dance

By Anna Pakes

Dance is often considered an ephemeral art, one that disappears nearly as soon as it materializes, leaving no physical object behind. Yet some dance practice involves people trying to embody something that exists before - and survives beyond - their particular acts of dancing. What exactly is that thing? And (how) do dances continue to exist when not performed?

Dance Appreciation

By Amanda Clark and Sara Pecina

Dance Appreciation is an exciting exploration of how to understand and think about dance in all of its various contexts. This book unfolds a brief history of the performing art form with engaging insight into the social, cultural, aesthetic and kinetic aspects of various forms of dance.

Dance Me a Song, Astaire, Balanchine, Kelly, and the American Film Musical

By Beth Genné

Learn more about Astaire's, Balanchine's, and Kelly's collaborations with composers and film-makers that crossed stylistic and class boundaries to develop a truly modern dance style and genres for the film musical.


Danse Contemporaine: Le Guide

By Philippe Noisette

Learn more about contemporary dance with this collection that deciphers the contemporary world through its artistic expressions and ways of thinking.



Fifty Contemporary Choreographers

By Jo Butterworth and Lorna Sanders

Fifty Contemporary Choreographers is a unique and authoritative guide to the lives and work of prominent living contemporary choreographers. Representing a wide range of dance genres and styles, each entry locates the individual in the context of contemporary dance and explores their impact.

Lighting Dance, a Study of Technical, Philosophical, and Psychological Shadows

By Flaviana Xavier Antunes Sampaio

Through a series of experimentations integrating light, shadow, and improvised dance movement, Lighting Dance highlights and analyses how innovative expression of shadow in dance can be an alternative to more conventional approaches to lighting design.

Marius Petipa, The Emperor's Ballet Master

By Nadine Meisner

Learn more about one of the most important ballet choreographers, Marius Petipa (1818 - 1910). This English biography traces the paths followed by the creative genius behind Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, and uses never before seen original material from Petipa's 63 years in Russia.

Merce Cunningham: Creative Elements

By David Vaughan

Cunningham is strongly committed as ever to the discovery of new ways of making movement, refusing to be hampered by the physical limitations that have come with age. The essays collected in this special issue were written over the last few years and discuss various aspects of the work of Cunningham as seen both from the outside and the inside.

Nouvelle Histoire de la Danse

By Laura Cappelle

Go through the history of dance from Prehistory to nowadays with Laura Cappelle, and learn more about the origins of its various techniques and practices. Be inspired by the exclusive preface by choreographer William Forsythe.


The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance

By Vida L. Midgelow

From the dance floor of a tango club to group therapy classes, from ballet to community theatre, improvised dance is everywhere. Expanding beyond conventional dance frameworks, this handbook looks at the ways that dance improvisation practices reflect our ability to adapt, communicate, and respond to our environment.


Physical Dramaturgy, Perspectives from the Field

By Rachel Bowdtich, Jeff Casazza and Annette Thornton

This anthology gives dramaturgs, actors, and directors new ways of looking at existing methods of physical dramaturgy and provides examples on how to translate, combine, and adapt them into new explorations for training, rehearsal or research. 


Pina Bausch's Dance Theatre: Tracing the Evolution of Tanztheater

By Lucy Weir

Pina Bausch’s Dance Theatre provides a wide-ranging study of Bausch’s aesthetic and methods of practice, with case studies ranging from the beginning of her career to her final choreographies.



Rethinking Dance History, Issues and Methodologies

By Geraldine Morris and Larraine Nicholas

Everyone involved with dance creates and carries with them a history that can be used in performance-making – from memories which establish identity to re-invention or preservation through shared and personal heritages. Rethinking Dance History is an essential starting point for anyone intrigued by the rich history and many directions of dance.

The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance

By Bruce Baird and Rosemary Candelario

Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance provides a comprehensive introduction to and analysis of the global art form 'butoh', a dance form that originated in Japan in the 1960. It represents a major innovation in twentieth century dance and performance, and continues to shape-shift around the world today.

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