Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer’s
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Dancing Bears: True Stories of People Nostalgic for Life Under Tyranny by Witold Szabłowski (Szablowski)
Requirements: .MP3 reader, 182 MB
Overview: For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to dance, welcoming them into their families and taking them on the road to perform. In the early 2000s, with the fall of Communism, they were forced to release the bears into a wildlife refuge. But even today, whenever the bears see a human, they still get up on their hind legs to dance.
In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuściński, award-winning Polish journalist, Witold Szabłowski uncovers remarkable stories of people throughout Eastern Europe and in Cuba who, like Bulgaria’s dancing bears, are now free but who seem nostalgic for the time when they were not. His on-the-ground accounts provide a fascinating portrait of social and economic upheaval and a lesson in the challenges of freedom and the seductions of authoritarian rule.
Genre: Audiobooks > Non-Fiction
Dancing with Ophelia: Reconnecting Madness, Creativity, and Love by Jeanne Ellen Petrolle
Requirements: .PDF reader, 1 MB
Overview: Uses real-life episodes of psychosis and recovery to show how poetic paradigms for thinking about psychiatric symptoms can enlarge contemporary understandings of mental illness and improve long-term treatment outcome.
“Twenty-two years ago, I lost my mind.” So begins Jeanne Ellen Petrolle’s fascinating personal narrative about her mental illness and recovery. Drawing on literature, art, and philosophy, Petrolle explores a unique understanding of madness that allowed her to achieve lasting mental health without using long-term psychiatric drugs.
Traditionally, Western literature, art, and philosophy have portrayed madness through six concepts created from myth – Escape into the Wild, Flight from a Scene of Terror, Visit to the Underworld, Dark Night of the Soul, Spiritual Passion, and Fire in the Mind. Rather than conceptualizing madness as “illness,” a mythopoetic concept assumes that madness contains symbolic meaning and offers valuable insight into human concerns like love, desire, sex, adventure, work, fate, spirituality, and God. Madness becomes an experience that unleashes extraordinary creativity by generating the spiritual insight that fuels artistic productivity and personal transformation. By weaving her personal experiences with the life stories and work of surrealist painter Leonora Carrington and modernist novelist Djuna Barnes, Petrolle shows how poetic thinking about severe mental distress can complement strategies for managing mental illness. This approach allowed her, and hopefully others, to produce better long-term treatment outcomes.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs
Dancing with Merce Cunningham by Marianne Preger-Simon
Requirements: EPUB Reader 13 MB
Overview: Dancing with Merce Cunningham is a buoyant, captivating memoir of a talented dancer’s lifelong friendship with one of the choreographic geniuses of our time.
Marianne Preger-Simon’s story opens amid the explosion of artistic creativity that followed World War II. While immersed in the vibrant arts scene of postwar Paris during a college year abroad, Preger-Simon was so struck by Merce Cunningham’s unconventional dance style that she joined his classes in New York. She soon became an important member of his brand new dance troupe-and a constant friend.
Through her experiences in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Preger-Simon offers a rare account of exactly how Cunninghamtaught and interacted with his students. She describes the puzzled reactions of audiences to the novel non-narrative choreography of the company’s debut performances. She touches on Cunningham’s quicksilver temperament-lamenting his early frustrations with obscurity and the discomfort she suspects he endured in concealing his homosexuality and partnership with composer John Cage-yet she celebrates above all his dependable charm, kindness, and engagement. She also portrays the comradery among the company’s dancers, designers, and musicians, many of whom-including Cage, David Tudor, and Carolyn Brown-would become integral to the avant-garde arts movement, as she tells tales of their adventures touring in a VW Microbus across the United States.
Finally, reflecting on her connection with Cunningham throughout the latter part of his career, Preger-Simon recalls warm moments that nurtured their enduring bond after she left the dance company and, later, New York. Interspersed with her letters to friends and family, journal entries, and correspondence from Cunningham himself, Preger-Simon’s memoir is an intimate look at one of the most influential companies in modern American dance and the brilliance of its visionary leader.
Genre: Non-Fiction – General
Trance Dancing with the Jinn: The Ancient Art of Contacting Spirits Through Ecstatic Dance
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Dancing in The Streets: A Historical past of Collective Pleasure [Audiobook]