DeSpain Publishes Book on Postmodern Movement Improvisation

Antioch University Midwest Core Faculty Member Releases New Book on Postmodern Movement Improvisation


Yellow Springs, OH- Antioch University Core Faculty member, Kent De Spain has released his new book titled Landscape of the Now.  De Spain’s book, which is supported by more than 20 years of research, takes readers on a deep journey into the underlying processes and structures of postmodern movement improvisation, while exploring issues that arise for the improviser in practice and performance.

Landscape of the Now: A Topography of Movement Improvisation“Over the course of several years I had the privilege of sitting down with several of the most renowned teachers of movement improvisation in the world,” said De Spain. “Combining their experience and wisdom with my research structure has significantly moved our understanding of the field forward. Readers interested in improvisation, cognitive studies, or human creative process will find Landscape of the Now to be highly informative,” he added.

Based on a series of interviews with master teachers who have developed unique approaches that are taught around the world – Steve Paxton, Simone Forti, Lisa Nelson, Deborah Hay, Nancy Stark Smith, Barbara Dilley, Anna Halprin, and Ruth Zaporah – Landscape of the Now delves into issues like the influence of an audience on an improviser’s choices or how performers “track” and use their experience of the moment. De Spain’s book also looks at the role of cognitive skills, memory, space, emotion, and the senses.

Whether read from cover to cover or pulled apart and explored a subject at a time, Landscape of the Now offers the reader a kind of map into the mysterious realm of human creativity, and the wisdom and experience of artists who have spent a lifetime exploring it.

Kent De Spain, Core Faculty and Chair of the Health and Wellness and Healthcare Consumer Advocacy programs at Antioch University Midwest, is an educator and multi-disciplinary artist with a special interest in health care and patient advocacy. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his Ed.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ohio State University, and has worked for many years as a professional choreographer and videographer, teaching movement practices, anatomy, injury prevention, and somatics to students and professionals in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. De Spain has been the recipient of several awards, including the Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Choreography and an Established Choreographer’s Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has published, presented and performed extensively in the areas of movement improvisation and dance and technology.