First critical biography of this visionary artist written by a dance scholar
Simone Forti, groundbreaking improvisor, has spent a lifetime weaving together the movement of her mind with the movement of her body to create a unique oeuvre situated at the intersection of dancing and art practices. Her seminal Dance Constructions from the 1960s crafted a new approach to dance composition and helped inspire the investigations of Judson Dance Theater. In the 1970s, Forti's explorations of animal movements expanded that legacy to launch improvisation as a valuable artform in its own right. From her early forays into vocal accompaniment to her News Animations, Forti has long integrated gesture and text into compelling performances that consistently stretched the boundaries of dance to layer abstract movement with story-telling and political commentary. Her "Land Portraits" series brought an immersive ecological experience to New York City stages in the 1980s, and she is a beloved teacher and mentor whose Body, Mind, World workshops have inspired dancers around the world. In this beautifully written book, author Ann Cooper Albright braids archival research, extensive interviews, and detailed movement analyses of Forti's performances to provide the first kinesthetically-informed and critically-nuanced history of Forti's multifaceted and extensive career.
Publication of this book is funded by the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Acknowledgements • Introduction • Movement is her Medium Forces at Play • Tuning • Geographies of a Group • Animating the News • Constructing a Legacy • Endnotes • Bibliography
ANN COOPER ALBRIGHT is professor of dance at Oberlin College. She is the author of six books including How to Land: Finding Ground in an Unstable World and co-editor of two seminal anthologies: Moving History/Dancing Cultures and Taken by Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind.
"As Ann Cooper Albright's book makes clear, Simone Forti's unique improvisations, poetic verbal constructions, and quixotic directions have exerted a powerful influence. Themes of danger and coercion have combined in mysterious ways in much of Simone's work. She has demonstrated an uncanny sense of the verbal and visual images that her body is able to invoke in movement and stillness—visceral metaphors, you might say. Ever the creative maverick, Simone has continued to challenge us with her restless intelligence and derring-do."~Yvonne Rainer
"Simone Forti is a major figure who cuts across both dance and visual art, crossing genres in ways that have opened up possibilities and inspired many. Ann Cooper Albright brings her own poetic insights to her subject in this beautifully written book, giving a deep sense of the moving, shape-shifting artist. Albright creates a reading experience, a contemplation, that is remarkable in connecting mind, body, and spirit. Many revelations, small and large, await the reader."~Wendy Perron, author of The Grand Union: Accidental Anarchists of Downton Dance, 1970–1976