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Perhaps the leading choreographer of her generation, Tharp offers a thesis on creativity that is more complex than its self-help title suggests. To be sure, an array of prescriptions and exercises should do much to help those who feel some pent-up inventiveness to find a system for turning idea into product, whether that be a story, a painting or a song. This free-wheeling interest across various creative forms is one of the main points that sets this book apart and leads to its success. The approach may have been born of the need to reach an audience greater than choreographer hopefuls, and the diversity of examples (from Maurice Sendak to Beethoven on one page) frees the student to develop his or her own patterns and habits, rather than imposing some regimen that works for Tharp. The greatest number of illustrations, however, come from her experiences. As a result, this deeply personal book, while not a memoir, reveals much about her own struggles, goals and achievements. Finally, the book is also a rumination on the nature of creativity itself, exploring themes of process versus product, the influences of inspiration and rigorous study, and much more. It deserves a wide audience among general readers and should not be relegated to the self-help section of bookstores.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Adult/High School--Tharp shows how and why artists must actively seek and nurture inspiration. The dancer/choreographer draws heavily on her personal experiences to guide readers into cultivating habits that give birth to success. In addition, she recounts the experiences of artists from other disciplines, including painting and cinematography. Vignettes from the lives of people such as Mozart underline the fact that even geniuses work hard to realize the fruits of their labor. A personable tone is carried throughout the book, and within the text is a gold mine of advice. Tharp not only promotes tried-and-true habits, but also encourages readers to dig deep within themselves and come up with their own answers. Most sections conclude with exercises; they are fun and almost seamlessly bring home the author's main points. The black-and-white illustrations and photos are few in number. Students from all manner of creative arts who wish to make their dreams come true would benefit from reading this book.--Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
It's everything that I thought it would be and more. I love how open and honest Tharp is about her creative process. Read morePublished 9 months ago by orchid
Brilliant. Even though I can't dance a step I got a world of good out of this book.Published 10 months ago by Benowen
A neat personal reflection on a creative life filled with some great exercises and tipsPublished 10 months ago by Iain Moggach
I first read this book a number of years ago on the recommendation of a local artist who was a mentor and confidante to many artists. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Andrew Raczynski
An Excellent down to earth writer. Offers great advise, support and experienced insight on how to nurture your bursting creative life and self expression.Published 18 months ago by Margery Digiandomenico
This could be the book that spawned my own creative project, a series of projects that I have been meaning to do, some for a long time, others will be spawned along the way -- but... Read morePublished on June 11 2013 by TheodoreStreet
Not a big self help book person and this maybe the only one I finished. I found it more about setting yourself up into the position to be creative. Very Good.Published on Jan. 27 2013 by James Robertson
As is my custom when a new year begins, I recently re-read this book and The Collaborative Habit. The insights that Twyla Tharp shares in them are, if anything, more valuable now... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2012 by Robert Morris