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Hiking the Horizontal
Field Notes from a Choreographer
Liz Lerman

2011 • 332 pp. 51 illus. 6 x 9"

$35.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6951-6

$19.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7148-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

"Lerman's concise text inspires and equips the reader with a host of new perspectives from which to tackle the making of artworks. …Lerman's ideas are novel, deep, and challenging and, as such, require time to take in, analyze, and potentially adopt."—Lisa Jo Sagolla, BackStage magazine

Award-winning choreographer shares insights and methods for making real art in the real world

The unique career of choreographer Liz Lerman has taken her from theater stages to shipyards, and from synagogues to science labs. In this wide-ranging collection of essays and articles, she reflects on her life-long exploration of dance as a vehicle for human insight and understanding of the world around us. Lerman has been described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art.” Here, she combines broad outlooks on culture and society with practical applications and accessible stories. Her expansive scope encompasses the craft, structure, and inspiration that bring theatrical works to life as well as the applications of art in fields as diverse as faith, aging, particle physics, and human rights law. Offering readers a gentle manifesto describing methods that bring a horizontal focus to bear on a hierarchical world, this is the perfect book for anyone curious about the possible role for art in politics, science, community, motherhood, and the media.

To explore Lerman’s dances about science and tools for embodied learning please visit her Science Choreography website: The site is a valuable resource for teachers from middle school through the university level.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements:

(R)eaders will be excited to evaluate and evolve their own practices. Anyone interested in making or teaching dance, regardless of where the dance takes place, who is dancing, or what it is about, will agree that this book matters.”Karen Schupp, Journal of Dance Education

“The strengths of this book lie in its broad reach and in Lerman’s capacity to share nuanced learning in conversational language. She investigates numerous processes central to making, working, and living in various professional and personal communities. ‘Hiking’ with wisdom and humility across the horizon of these years, she manages, nonetheless, to dig deeply…Highly recommended.”S.E. Friedler, CHOICE

Hiking the Horizontal constructs a portrait of a compelling artist whose convictions are at the core of her creative engagement in dance—a choreographer whose activism is personal.”—Rita Felciano, Dance Chronicle

“Lerman is that rare artist who has pioneered new pathways into the human spirit, and who is blessed with the facility of not just creating her art but of explaining it as well. Hiking the Horizontal is a combination of explanation and inquiry, couched in a narrative that is contagious with sensitivity, grace, and wisdom.”Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman, rabbi, Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual, Hebrew Union College

“Liz Lerman defies categorization, mixing ideas and practices we are taught to keep separate. She catapults herself into art and politics, science and spirituality, community-based and high art contexts. This generous book will give heart to artists who both respect tradition and seek their own path.”Jan Cohen Cruz, director, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life

"The author tells her story in such a generous and transparent fashion that one easily grasps her profound observations and provocative inquiries. You will feel like a partner in her journey. Lerman's concise text inspires and equips the reader with a host of new perspectives from which to tackle the making of artworks. Probably best appreciated by those who have engaged in artistic explorations, Lerman's ideas are novel, deep, and challenging and, as such, require time to take in, analyze, and potentially adopt."
—Lisa Jo Sagolla, Back Stage

“Lerman is thoughtful, insightful and gentle in her approach, and her message carries deep value.”—Peter DeVries, Dance International

Author Photo

LIZ LERMAN is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and led it until 2011. Current projects involve Healing Wars, an investigation of the impact of war on medicine; the genre-twisting work Blood Muscle Bone with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Urban Bush Women; work with the London Sinfonietta; and an online project called “The Treadmill Tapes: Ideas on the Move.” In 2013 she curated Wesleyan University's symposium "Innovations: Intersection of Art and Science,” bringing together teams of artists and scientists from North America to present their methods and findings.

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 10:26:12 -0500