34,330 Results
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Duncan Dancer, an Autobiography
Author: Irma Duncan
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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Born Irma Dorette Henriette Erich-Grimme (1897–1977), in Hamburg, Germany, Irma was one of six young girls, later called the Isadorables, taken in by Isadora Duncan. All six girls took Duncan’s name legally. Thus was born: Irma Duncan. Duncan Dancer, an Autobiography is a valuable resource, describing Irma's early career with Isadora Duncan and the Isadorables, through her time as a teacher taking students on tours to perform throughout the world. Today, many of her letters, photographs, notebooks, programs, clippings from newspapers and magazines, and other materials form the Irma Duncan Collection, one of the most precious holdings of the New York Public Library’s Dance Division.
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The Language of Dance
Author: Mary Wigman
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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Born Karoline Sophie Marie Wiegmann (1886–1973) in Hanover, Germany, Mary Wigman was a founder of modern dance in Europe. She studied with Emile Jacques-Dalcroze and Rudolf von Laban. She is the author of two books published by Wesleyan University Press: The Language of Dance, translated by Walter Sorell (1966), and The Mary Wigman Book: Her Writings (1975). Mary Wigman was one of the most celebrated dancer/choreographers of the modern era, and was an iconic figure in Weimar German culture. She was known for her incorporation of non-Western instrumentation and dance, as well as for pioneering work in dance therapy. In addition to documenting important cultural history, this autobiography demonstrates Wigman’s personal passion and her role in shaping the art form. “This fascinating document is the autobiography of a creative imagination rather than an individual. In dealing with her past, Wigman has chosen to eschew all dates, names, and places, and instead of personal anecdotes she describes the state of mind that accompanied the birth of certain specific dances…Those who have seen Wigman dance will find reminders of her performances in the lovely photographic illustrations. All who read the book will find in it some rare revelations of the artistic process.” —Joan Cass, Boston Herald “It is a book to be warmly recommended to anyone interested in dance; a book that demands comparison with Doris Humphrey’s magnificent Art of Making Dances, as a personal document concerned with the raw material of dance.” —Clive Barnes, The New York Times “Miss Wigman writes with a passion and a richness of imagery which Walter Sorell’s translation captures very well…. The book is of the utmost importance to anyone concerned with dance history, and it also affords extraordinary insight into the operations of a remarkable creative mind.” —Jack Anderson, Dance magazine
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Svoboda: Wagner: Joseph Svoboda's Scenography for Richard Wagner's Operas
Author: Jarka Burian
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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In Svoboda: Wagner, Jarka Burian (1927–2005) presents an in-depth exploration of the collaboration between one of Germany’s greatest composers and the Czech Republic’s most innovative multimedia scene designer. More familiar with Svoboda’s (1920–2002)work, Burian translates the artistic collaboration between Svoboda and Wagner through the production of The Ring of the Nibelung, one of opera’s most complicated pieces. Examining stage orchestration, acting methods, and architecture, Burian attempts a view into modern scenography and the inner workings of the theatre for the public reader.
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My Theatre Life
Author: August Bournonville
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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Born in Copenhagen and trained by his father, French ballet master, August Bournonville (1805–1879) was an iconoic dance master and principal choreography of the Royal Danish Ballet with his incorporation of French Romanticism in his ballet choreography. Known for detailed, quick footwork and delicate arm and torso contrast, Bournonville’s style of dance became known as the Bournonville Method, today considered the unfiltered 19th century technique of the French school of classical dance. Over a century since his death, Bournonville’s influence remains seen on the Danish and greater European stage, imported to theatre classes and stages across the world.
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The Theatre of Donald Oenslager
Author: Donald Oenslager
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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Donald Oenslager’s working career spanned fifty years of the New York stage and during those years his influence extended across the country in the work of the many distinguished stage designers who had been his students at the Yale School of Drama. His autobiographical introduction to this book is, therefore, both a history of and a commentary on the theatre in New York from 1920 to the 1970s, and it admits us to the reflections of one of the most versatile artists who worked at the center of that development. This is a designer’s book, and Donald Oenslager chose his subjects with a designer’s eye. Over thirty-five productions are discussed in the light of the problems of interpretation and realization that they posed to the set designer. More than ninety illustrations illuminate Oenslager’s mastery of the principles of design and his ability to exploit the technical possibilities of his theatre. “For twenty-five years, indeed ever since he did the settings for Sooner and Later down at the old and much lamented Neighborhood Playhouse, he has been making contributions to our theatre distinguished not only by their professionalism but by their versatility, their rightness, and their imagination. No playgoers who saw, for example, You Can't Take It With You, Pygmalion, The Doctor's Dilemma, Of Mice and Men, The Fabulous Invalid, Life With Mother, or the Players' Club revival of Uncle Tom's Cabin, can have forgotten the vital part Oenslager played in these productions, or the humor, the elegance, the beauty, the mastery of period details, and the variety of his work.”—John Mason Brown
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Theatre Lighting before Electricity
Author: Frederick Penzel
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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Theatre Lighting Before Electricity covers the intricacies of dealing with stage lighting before the advent of electricity. Ranging from ancient Greek times to 1882, theater historian Frederick Penzel (shows that theatre lighting has a long and ingenious history. As early as the sixteenth century, Italian theatres had colored lighting displays. Scenes were lighted by large central chandeliers, and early forms of sidelights, reflectors, and floodlights were in use. Lighting was adjusted to create moods or to reinforce dramatic actions. Gaslighting was first generally used in theatres in 1817 and before the end of that year the most important London theatres were completely illuminated by gaslight. Penzel demonstrates that by the time electricity had come into use, most modem stage lighting devices had been in development for many years, and were only being modified for use with a more powerful light source. Originally published in 1978, this was the first written history of early theatre lighting and contains many valuable technical illustrations. This book continues to present an unparalleled resource on early stage lighting.
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The Scenography of Josef Svoboda
Author: Jarka Burian
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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One of the Czech Republic’s most innovative scene designers, incorporating multimedia aspects into his scene designs, Josef Svoboda’s (1920–2002) work is made available to the Anglophone public with translations from Jarka Burian (1927–2005). A detailed study of sixty key productions designed by Svoboda with over two hundred black-and-white photographs, Svoboda’s scenography is realized as a synthesis of traditional methods with technical innovations, creating a total design experience.
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Samuel Phelps and Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Author: Shirley S. Allen
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
Description:
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Samuel Phelps (1804–1878) was an English actor and theater manager. In an era when performances of Shakespeare’s works had been replaced with derived versions of themselves, Phelps became known for his exquisite productions of Shakespeare that were faithful to their original versions. Phelps revolutionized Shakespearean theatre when he took over management of Sadler’s Wells Theatre and began showing productions of faithful reproductions. This is the definitive biography of the producer who brought the Shakespeare’s original plays back to the forefront of theatre after over 100 years of derived versions. His exquisite reproductions revolutionized stage design and management. This is an especially important book for those interested in theatrical history and Shakespeare.
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Adolphe Appia, Prophet of the Modern Theatre: A Profile
Author: Walther Richard Volbach
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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In the complex art of theatrical design and production, the first decades of this century saw no more original or lastingly influential innovator than Adolphe Appia (1862–1928). Partly through his startling stage designs, more perhaps through his published writings and personal contacts with men of the theatre throughout Europe, his ideas and theories wrought a revolution whose effects are everywhere today. Yet the details of his work and the extent of his influence have heretofore had no proper recognition or even complete recording. Concentrating on Appia’s aesthetic ideas, writings, and professional accomplishments, this book traces his career from early days as a music student in his native Geneva, Paris, and Germany through his association with Houston Stewart Chamberlain and the Bayreuth circle, his exchanges with Gordon Craig, his work with Jaques-Dalcroze at Hellerau, and his crowning production (for Toscanini) of Tristan at La Scala, to his declining years and death in 1928. The arrangement is topical rather than chronological. Throughout, the growth of Appia’s theories and the steps in his career are shown in relation to the cultural milieu, especially the theatre, of his place and time. His personality and character too become evident: and thus one comes to know a man of genius who, though reserved with strangers, commanded the devoted respect of those who worked with him most closely.
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The Theatre of Robert Edmond Jones
Author: Robert Edmond Jones, Robert Pendleton, editor
Source: Wesleyan University Press
Type: Open Access Book
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This is a collection of essays written by a revolutionary in theatrical stagecraft, Robert Edmond Jones (1887–1954 ). Jones was a scenic, lighting, and costume designer who was vastly influential in stagecraft and is credited with bringing “The New Stagecraft” to the American drama. This collection delves into the mind of Jones as he illuminates his idea and design on paper. It also includes contributions from collaborators who described Jones as a colleague and friend. Those interested in stagecraft and the history of modern theatre will find this work a valuable gem of information from one of the most important figures in the history of modern theatre. Known for his simplistic set design, Robert Edmond Jones, was an innovator of American theatre, designing sets and lighting as incorporated aspects of performance, no longer a crutch for actors to depict setting, but a complement to the performance.
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