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Book Review

Unveiling Motion and Emotion, by Anabella Lenzu

At first glance, the reader might think Unveiling Motion and Emotion will be a typical autobiography, but instead author Anabella Lenzu’s twenty years of experience acts as a moving backdrop to her main purpose: the constant struggle “interspersed with bursts of development” in teaching dance and choreography.  Lovely images, expressive language, and a topsy-turvy layout divided into Spanish and English, carry us on a journey first to Argentina, then onward through three continents in search of the creative process.

Lenzu, now living in New York City and artistic director of Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama, stresses the importance of lifetime knowledge – to study a foreign language, cultures, arts and science, pedagogy, holistic health, creative writing − all to become a more accomplished, benevolent artist. Dance to her encompasses more than the ego, and she urges us to share our gifts wherever the need is greatest.

Her choreography may engage props, elaborate costumes and masks; she may strip the stage bare or carry the movement into the street. Themes, both dramatic and light, may reflect folk tales and traditions, headlines, including the illegal immigrant’s struggle, or one’s seemingly mundane yet extraordinary life.

In one amusing antidote about portraying a cockroach (for another choreographer), everything about her was in reverse, even her head was her buttocks (What?! Read pp.38-39). As she performed before potential donors at a grand hotel, she observed food as it trickled down designer shoes and onto the floor. This peculiar dance revealed to her truly the life of an insect.

Lenzu discusses the hardest class she ever taught and praises her mentors, young and old. She agrees that improvisation is a good compositional element, but emphasizes the importance of repertory.

…poetically, she visualizes the dancer’s body as “the container of our soul.”

I highly recommend this book as a source within the dance curriculum.

From the desk of

Colleen Dean, MA

Editor, Dance Arts Now!

Virginia Representative, CREDO

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