A Choreographer's Handbook
Routledge – 2010 – 228 pages
On choreography: "Choreography is a negotiation with the patterns your body is thinking"
On rules: "Try breaking the rules on a need to break the rules basis"
A Choreographer’s Handbook invites the reader to investigate how and why to make a dance performance. In an inspiring and unusually empowering sequence of stories, ideas and paradoxes, internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher Jonathan Burrows explains how it’s possible to navigate a course through this complex process.
It is a stunning reflection on a personal practice and professional journey, and draws upon five years’ of workshop discussions, led by Burrows.
Burrows’ open and honest prose gives the reader access to a range of exercises, meditations, principles and ideas on choreography that allow artists and dance-makers to find their own aesthetic process.
It is a book for anyone interested in making performance, at whatever level and in whichever style.
'It proposes clear, but simultaneously cryptic advices applicable to a broad church of performance and dance making-dilemas. Well worth ordering' – Tim Etchells, Artistic Director of Forced Entertainment
'The book covers thematic topics such as 'Collaboration', 'Material' and 'Mentoring' in playful ways, making bold statements but also cheekily suggesting that the opposite may also be true. It is a thought-provoking read, but also a useful manual on approaching performance for teachers, students and practitioners, that attempts to go beneath the layers of performing and making performance works.' - Emma Meehan, Dance Notes
Jonathan Burrows has toured and worked internationally as a dancer and choreographer. In 2002 he was commended by the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in New York for his contribution to contemporary dance, and in 2004 he received a New York Dance and Performance 'Bessie' for his work 'Both Sitting Duet'. He has made commissioned work for many companies, including William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt, Sylvie Guillem and The Royal Ballet. He has been Visiting Professor at the Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Hamburg.