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books by sondra

Back to the Dance Itself, phenomenology of performance

Back to the Dance Itself:                 Phenomenologies of the Body in Performance (2018)

Sondra Fraleigh

Published in 2018.

In Back to the Dance Itself, Sondra Fraleigh edits essays that illuminate how scholars apply a range of phenomenologies to explore questions of dance and the world; performing life and language; body and place; and self-knowing in performance. Some authors delve into theoretical perspectives, while others relate personal experiences and reflections that reveal fascinating insights arising from practice. Collectively, authors give particular consideration to the interactive lifeworld of making and doing that motivates performance. Their texts and photographs study body and the environing world through points of convergence, as correlates in elemental and constant interchange modeled vividly in dance. Selected essays on eco-phenomenology and feminism extend this view to the importance of connections with, and caring for, all life. Contributors: Karen Barbour, Christine Bellerose, Robert Bingham, Kara Bond, Hillel Braude, Sondra Fraleigh, Kimerer LaMothe, Joanna McNamara, Vida Midgelow, Ami Shulman, and Amanda Williamson.

Researching Dance and Movement

Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry (1999)

Sondra Fraleigh

In Researching Dance, an introduction to research methods in dance addressed primarily to graduate students, the editors explore dance as evolutional, defining it in view of its intrinsic participatory values, its developmental aspects, and its purposes from art to ritual, and they examine the role of theory in research. The editors have also included essays by nine dancer-scholars who examine qualitative and quantitative inquiry and delineate the most common approaches for investigating dance, raising concerns about philosophy and aesthetics, historical scholarship, movement analysis, sexual and gender identification, cultural diversity, and the resources available to students. The writers have included study questions, research exercises, and suggested readings to facilitate the book’s use as a classroom text.

Moving Consciously, yoga, dance, and touch

Moving Consciously: Somatic Transformations through Dance, Yoga, and Touch (2015)

Edited with Essays by Sondra Fraleigh

"The somatic movement field is growing rapidly and these authors are well suited to represent its diversity of theories and applications. Through their vast experience they provide a range of perspectives that demonstrates the full scope of somatic phenomena. A wonderful introduction to the more philosophical strand of somatic inquiry." 


Martha Eddy, founding director of Dynamic Embodiment SMT and Moving for Life

In Moving Consciously, Sondra Fraleigh gathers essays that probe ideas surrounding embodied knowledge and the conscious embodiment of movement and dance. Using a variety of perspectives on movement and dance somatics, Fraleigh and other contributors draw on both scholarship and personal practice to participate in a multifaceted investigation of a thriving worldwide phenomenon. Their goal: to present the mental and physical health benefi ts of experiencing one's inner world through sensory awareness and movement integration. Contributors: Richard Biehl, Robert Bingham, Hillel Braude, Alison East, Sondra Fraleigh, Kelly Ferris Lester, Karin Rugman, Catherine Schaeffer, Jeanne Schul, and Ruth Way.

Butoh book

Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy (2010)

Sondra Fraleigh

Both, a refraction of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a protest against Western colonization, is a form of Japanese dance theater that emerged in the aftermath of World War II. Sondra Fraleigh chronicles the growth of this provocative art form from its midcentury founding under a sign of darkness to its assimilation in the twenty-first century as a poignant performance medium with philosophical and political implications. Employing intellectual and aesthetic perspectives to reveal the origins, major figures, and international development of the dance, Fraleigh documents the range and variety of butoh artists around the world with first-hand knowledge of butoh performances from 1973 to 2008.

Land to Water Yoga book

Land to Water Yoga: Shin Somatics Moving Way (2006) 

Sondra Fraleigh

While spending two months meditating and practicing yoga in silence at Sri Aurobindo's first ashram in Baroda India, Sondra Fraleigh received her first impressions for yoga based upon infant movement development and somatic principles. She consciously utilized this element in her creative use of yoga-bridging it with somatic movement education and intrinsic dancing.

This unique new form of yoga-Land to Water Yoga-maintains yoga's original intent of spiritual healing and awareness and offers a way to deepen clear seeing and a calm mind, urging one past his or her limited ego. It is based on five stages of infant development and the methods of Shin Somatics® Moving Way. Its progression moves backward from the most complex movement in terms of balance to the least: from walking to floating (from land to water), providing the opportunity to retrace our personal human development back to its watery soma source.

Progressing through these five primary stages of Land to Water Yoga may elicit surprising infant and childhood memories, which can heal trauma when one lets go of buried feelings. Peeling away social constructions via this innovative form of yoga, one can learn through curiosity and build skill with ease.

book on metaphysics of dance

Dancing Identity: Metaphysics In Motion (2004)

Sondra Fraleigh

According to renowned performer, teacher, and dance scholar Sondra Fraleigh, "to value dance at all is to value the human, the beautiful, and the playful amid the erotic pulse of life. Dancing gives us the forms of our mind in movement, and it teaches us how to reconnect with our emotions, living them over again, sweeping clean their cellular foundations."

Dancing Identity, her latest book, is a celebratory fusion of philosophy and movement. Combining critical analysis with personal history and poetry, Fraleigh presents a series of interconnected essays composed over a period of fifteen years. Taken as a whole, these meditative reflections on the ways we perceive and construct our lives represent a journey toward self-definition informed by art, ritual, feminism, phenomenology, poetry, autobiography, and-always-dance. While aesthetic discourse is often dissociated from lived experience, Dancing Identity examines dance as an inherently gendered reality and exposes the political terrain of movement.

Dance and the Lived Body

Dance And Lived Body (1987)

Sondra Fraleigh

In her remarkable book, Sondra Horton Fraleigh examines and describes dance through her consciousness of dance as an art, through the experience of dancing, and through the existential and phenomenological literature on the lived body. She describes, with performance photographs, specific imagery in dance masterworks by Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow, Viola Farber, Nina Weiner, and Garth Fagan.

DancingIntoDarkness: Butoh, Zen, and Japan

Dancing Into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, and Japan (1999)

Sondra Fraleigh

Dancing Into Darkness is Sondra Horton Fraleigh's chronological diary of her deepening understanding of and appreciation for this art form, as she moves from a position of aesthetic response as an audience member to that of assimilation as a student. As a student of Zen and butoh, Fraleigh witnesses her own artistic and personal transformation through essays, poems, interviews, and reflections spanning twelve years of study, much of it in Japan. Numerous performance photographs and original calligraphy by Fraleigh's Zen teacher Shodo Akane illuminate her words.

The pieces of Dancing Into Darkness cross boundaries, just as butoh anticipates a growing global amalgamation. "Butoh is not an aesthetic movement grafted onto Western dance, " Fraleigh concludes, "and Western dance may be more Eastern than we have been able to see. "

Somatics in Dance and Ethics, book
Somatics in Dance, Ecology, and Ethics: The Flowing Live Present (2023)
Sondra Fraleigh

A new collection of essays previously published with Intellect as journal articles, with the addition of new essays and editorial material. The text considers body-based somatic education relative to values, virtues, gender fluidity, lived experience, environmental awareness, fairness, and collective well-being. In delineating interdependent values of soma, ecology, and human movement that are newly in progress, the collection conceives links between personal development of subjective knowledge and cultural, critical, and environmental positionality.The text raises questions about defining somatics and self, gender dynamics, movement preferences, normative body conceptions, attention to feelings, inclusiveness, ethics of touch, and emotional intelligence in somatics contexts.The book presents these crucial concerns of somatics and ethics as relational, globally complex, and ongoing.

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