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The Wise Body: Conversations with Experienced Dancers
Edited by Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early, this is a collection of interviews with twelve distinguished dancers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who continue to enjoy exceptionally long performing careers

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 re-appraisal of the development of modern and post modern dance; their varied cultural starting points give rise to serious questions about the meaning of dance as an art form. 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 idolised.


‘A long awaited, remarkable collection that gives life to the dancing body. At last a chance to hear the voices of these very special performer/creators who have carried the discoveries of the new dance movement over 30 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.’

Rosemary Butcher, Choreographer

‘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, Professor of Dance History, De Montfort University

ISBN: 9781841504186 | Paperback

Pub date: May 2011 | Price: £16.95, $30

Available to purchase from Intellect Books, see web address below.