The Dance Technique of Doris Humphrey and Its Creative Potential pays respect to the work of American modern dance pioneer Doris Humphrey. Her theories of movement, based upon the principles of Fall and Recovery, are no less well-known by reputation than by their pervasive influence. This 1978 publication was the first documentation in book format of her movement theories, presented and analyzed by a first-generation disciple.
The book teaches more than sixty exercises, geared to the beginning and intermediate student through the means of written description and illustration. The historical and philosophical background of the technique is discussed and descriptions of Humphrey's dance compositions are used as case studies of the exercises.
The Dance Technique of Doris Humphrey is divided into three parts: The Background of the Technique reveals how the theory evolved, inspired by the writings of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche; The Technique as Practice contains chapters on center, floor and barre work, as well as spatial sequences; The Creative Potential of the Technique describes how the three basic ingredients of dance movement-rhythm, dynamic and design-can be used to create dances. There is also an Epilogue, which analyzes the choreographic concepts underlying four of Humphrey's most well-known dance works: Air for the G String, La Valse, Two Ecstatic Themes and Passacaglia. Includes 21 illustrations.