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Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance, Second Edition.

Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance, Second Edition (web audio of Eric Franklin leading imagery exercises accompanies text) Eric Franklin Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics 2014 Pages: 374, Price: $36.95 (paper)

Eric Franklin's second edition of Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance is as cohesive as his first, plus it includes new features: two chapters on the background, history, theory, and applications of imagery; additional illustrations to show how best to use imagery in improvisation and performance; and, interestingly, a handful of exercises taught by Franklin focused on rest and relaxation techniques (also available on the Human Kinetics website).

The book is divided into four parts (Art and Science of Imagery; Discovering and Exploring Imagery; Imagery in Dance Technique Classes; and, Imagery in Choreography, Rest, and Regeneration) and 18 chapters. A brief introduction and epilogue, references, and a detailed index round out the book.

Franklin's writing is cohesive in that it beautifully ties together diverse ideas, a multitude of illustrations and images, and clear and effective exercises (I tried a number of them)--well placed throughout the text.

In his introduction Franklin discusses how he discovered imagery, with nods to the influences on him. In so doing he provides both origin and justification for his work--if for nothing else than to aid teachers in making the corrections so important in technique class. If any teacher ever needed an excuse for incorporating dance imagery segments into a class, one would only need to look at Franklin's Table 1.1, "Benefits and Uses of Dance Imagery" (I count 27 benefits).

It is the images, however, that take center stage in the book:

* "Imagine that the floor is made of music";

* "[Leave] a trace of your body behind as you move";

* [For improvisation] "Create a connection, an imaginary cord, a force that infallibly ties you to your partner as if you were mountain climbers connected by a strong rope";

* [Plie] "... gliding down a mattress";

* [Upper body gesture-Imagine] "elastic arches of the wrist and hand," or "light shining through your fingers"; and

* [Exercises for Experiencing Inner Space] "Lie on the floor and visualize a flashlight traveling through your body.... Once you have finished your travel, go to the place that you experience as the center of your body. With the brightest light imaginable, see the whole inside of the body lit up at once."

Franklin's Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance is yet another contribution by a scholar-practitioner who already has made his method a popular choice for dancers and clinicians alike. Franklin's work continues to prove itself wildly inventive and utterly meaningful for the dancer.

Review copies of new publications should be sent to Gigi Berardi, 2813 Summer Street, Bellingham, Washington 98225. Those interested in reviewing books for this section should inquire by e-mail ( and include their professional affiliation and area of expertise.

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Author:Berardi, Gigi
Publication:Journal of Dance Medicine & Science
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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