This is one of the first works Humphrey composed as an independent choreographer. Performed in silence, it conjures up a variety of sea moods ranging from calm to tidal to wind-driven turbulence. The dance demonstrates Humphrey’s signature use of fall and recovery and breath rhythm. The subtle and complex ensemble work requires synchronized rhythmic timing among the dancers without the aid of musical cues.
Source: Dance Horizons, Doris Humphrey Legacy: Water Study DVD
Doris Humphrey was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1895 and grew up in Chicago. Her father operated a residence home for vaudeville performers called the Palace Hotel, and her mother offered piano lessons. As a girl, Humphrey studied piano, ballet, ballroom dance, Americanized Delsarte and Dalcroze's system of Eurythmics. A talented dancer, she began teaching ballet and interpretive dance to children when she was 15. During the next few years, Humphrey traveled the Santa Fe railroad line with a variety troupe, giving performances to railroad employees of her home-made aesthetic dances and Spanish numbers. When she returned home to Oak Park she began her own studio with her mother as accompaniest and business manager.
By 1931, the Humphrey and Weidman companies and their joint studio/school were firmly established in New York City. With Graham, Humphrey was considered by most critics to be a primary innovator of the new modern dance. Her theory of "fall and recovery"-- and the technique that sprang from it--was the foundation of her teaching method and her choreography. Underlying it, according to Humphrey, was the German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche's idea about the split in the human psyche between each person's Apollonian side (rational, intellectual) and our Dionysian side (chaotic, emotional). The true essence of the modern dance was the movement that happened in between these extremes, which Humphrey labeled "the arc between two deaths."
Source: University of Pittsburg
Amy Reusch is an American director. She directed the whole shows which compose the DVD serie called "The Doris Humphrey Legacy".
Choreography : Doris Humphrey
Interpretation : Doris Humphrey Workshop Dancers
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Dance Horizons
Princeton Book Co. Publishers
Specialists in the publishing and distribution of dance books and dance videos for over 35 years, with a list of over 500 dance related titles. We publish under the imprint Dance Horizons and distribute for The Dance Notation Bureau and Dance Books Ltd. In March of 2000 we launched a new imprint to publish books of general interest, Elysian Editions, with The Magic Of Provence: Pleasures of Southern France by Yvone Lenard. Visit our Elysian Editions pages to see Ms. Lenard's books as well as other titles under this imprint.
Source: Princeton Book Co. Publishers
More information: https://www.dancehorizons.com