This book is about dancers and their health. A perfect body and hard work are no guarantee for perfect performance. Optimal performance requires that a dancer be physically and mentally healthy. The system of bones, muscles and sinews, the activity of nerve cells and inspiration all influence excellence. But so do ethics and habits, training methods and working conditions.
Not Just Any Body & Soul is the result of the conference held in November of 2003 during the Holland Dance Festival in The Hague. During three days of lectures, workshops and debate, attention was focused on how to help dancers reach the best and healthiest performance level. The word ‘Soul’ was added to this sequel to the conference Not Just Any Body (1999), to make the point that dancing involves more than te instrument alone.
Personal testimonies, studies and reports provide a clear perspective of how to dance professional can be seen – by dancers themselves, scientists and journalists; or from the perspective of sport, psychology, anthropology, medicine, physiology and personnel management. This variety of viewpoints provides a rich panorama of the theme.
The body is not only the dancer’s instrument, it is the dancer. That it must be cherished is a necessity that all dance professionals must bear in mind – from dancer to manager, teacher to medic. The compilation Not Just Any Body & Soul is thought provoking and hopes to keep this always dynamic discussion lively.