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The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition Paperback – Aug 1 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (Aug. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873388283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559362412
  • ASIN: 1559362413
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Anne Bogart is a director, teacher and co-founder of the SITI Company. Tina Landau, noted director and playwright, is best known for her collaboration with Adam Geuttel on Floyd Collins and is a past recipient of the Princess Grace Award. She has been an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 1997.


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Format: Paperback
Turns Mary Overlie's 6 SSTEMS into 21 insights into Movement, improvisation, and staging, mostly for dancers and actors. A mind expanding read for anyone in the arts, but sometimes slow going for someone not directly involved in theatre because of some of its textbook-like qualities. Nonetheless, well worth it, and the effort is especially rewarded in the last quarter with an excellent treatise on Composition. Innovative. Well worth the price. I recommend it to all types of artists, even visual artists and writers, because it will enhance the ways you approach art.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! Anne Bogart and Tina Landau explain their ideas effectively and concisely, and offer helpful exercises to help you teach Viewpoints to people who have not yet received the training.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4229498) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Brad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It took forever to finally arrive.. both in the sense that it kept getting delayed, but more importantly as a director who has trained with Viewpoints and wanted to impliment them into my work.

The book is very accessible to even those who have not taken any Viewpoints classes with a laid out ground plan for how to introduce each Viewpoint as well as how to use them in rehearsals and creating new pieces. The end of each section includes several options to eithe expand or replace, making the plan fit perfect for whatever you're doing. I read it cover to cover in a sitting and will be referencing it in the future as I direct those new to Viewpoints as well as those previously exposed.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d60f30) out of 5 stars Indeed a "practical guide" Jan. 11 2007
By K.R.G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was highly recommended to me by a dancer friend, and I've found it to be extremely useful for dance improvisation sessions I'm leading with a group of non-dancers. The authors offers numerous exercises that groups can build on, experiment with, and use to generate skill and teamwork. If you're looking for inspiration for your own performance project or creative ideas for group activities, you will find them here.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3f1f228) out of 5 stars Viewpoints March 8 2007
By James E. Peerenboom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I wanted a good, basic look at Viewpoints and this book has been exactly what I hoped it would be. It is to the point but still offers enough explanation to make sure the reader understands each viewpoint. If you want a good, basic background of the work this book does well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3f1f744) out of 5 stars A great read for actors, directors, and performers of all levels. Jan. 6 2013
By Casby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aptly described in the title, "A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition". Perfect for new and veteran artists alike. Great information about ensemble building as well as getting outside of your comfort zone. The kind of book to go back and re-read with every new project. You'll find yourself applying techniques consciously as well as unconsciously.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3f1f00c) out of 5 stars It's very...remedial as far as physical approaches go Jan. 20 2015
By Not Yomama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Viewpoints is very much a primer on spacial awareness and spontaneous interaction.
Like any very basic "technique" or approach, and like like many 20th century American guides to theatrical performance, a major problem may lie in that its componentstents are delineated in a manner so simplistic, hyper-focused, and unrevealing of its purpose or endgame that it can have the effect of encouraging effort and difficulty where ideally, there should and might otherwise be none, and that probably endangers as many unproductive habits as it intends to alleviate.

While it might be life-changing for those without a regular movement practice, the emphasis on simple movement as a way through to ensemblework won't speak much to those who already have good movement or improvisation skills and for theorists and pedagogues, the book doesn't really reveal what the approach does differently from others or how its application is useful for creating or supporting the work of real performance.

If you have good, healthy physical awareness and control or training, you probably won't need viewpoints except to learn its specific vocabularies in order to work with others who use it. If you are a more advanced in the above areas and want more theory or a more comprehensive approach to creating organic group and work, many other works are probably much more essential and helpful to start or to grow with. Start by studying artists and approaches from post-WWII Europe or Chicago Improv or, if you want something more practical or faster and for immediate and advanced application, take some contact improv and composition and Meisner courses.


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