The Wise Body

Conversations with Experienced Dancers

Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early

The Wise Body

Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

205 pages | 25 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $24.50 ISBN: 9781841504186 Published September 2011

In The Wise Body: Conversations with Experienced Dancers, UK choreographers Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early interview twelve distinguished dancers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who continue to enjoy exceptionally long performing careers. They discuss early training, memorable performing experiences, the things that sustain them, and the pleasures and challenges of being ‘older’ dancers in a profession in which youth is often idolized. The contributors include Philippe Priasso, Lisa Nelson, La Tati, Julyen Hamilton, Yoshito Ohno, Steve Paxton, Will Gaines, Jane Dudley, Pauline de Groot, and Bisakha Sarker.
Taken as a whole, the interviews, with their long and international perspective, invite a radical reappraisal of the development of modern and postmodern dance and their varied cultural starting points give rise to serious questions about the meaning of dance as an art form.


      Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early
Chapter 1: The Sense of Shape, the Sense of Time
      Philippe Priasso
Chapter 2: Growing New Patterns from a New Imagination
      Lisa Nelson
Chapter 3: Dance is the Best Cream and the Best Vitamin
      La Tati
Chapter 4: Can't…Try…Can
      Julyen Hamilton
Chapter 5: There are So Many Surprises
      Yoshito Ohno
Chapter 6: How Important is Dance?  I Think it May be Critical!
      Steven Paxton
Chapter 7: Lines of Experience
      Jacky Lansley
Chapter 8: Now We’re Famous We Need Jackets
      Will Gaines
Chapter 9: That Quality of Knowing Movement Never Leaves You
      Jane Dudley
Chapter 10: From Stillness I Could Feel the Energy Begin
      Pauline de Groot
Chapter 11: Please Come and Dance on the Lotus of my Heart
      Bisakha Sarker
Chapter 12: Your Body Knows a Lot of Things
      Fergus Early
      Jack Lansley and Fergus Early

Review Quotes
Rosemary Butcher, choreographer

“A long-awaited, remarkable collection that gives life to the dancing body. At last a chance to hear the voices of these very special performers and creators who have carried the discoveries of the new dance movement over thirty years. What is so exciting and beautiful is that the writing is as unique as each of the creative identities. A book to treasure for all those who have sought to understand the moving body.”

Ramsay Burt, De Montfort University

“If today we are learning to value older dancers, this is largely due to the revolution in dance practices and training methods that took place in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of the interviews in this book are with pioneers of new ways of moving that focus on somatic practices which have been informed by an understanding of the dancing body that embraces both aesthetics and politics. Lansley and Early have been at the forefront of these developments in Britain and The Wise Body not only adds to our historical knowledge but also offers new insights into the practice of experienced dancers.” —Ramsay Burt, De Montfort University

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