In this first volume of a two-part series, a husband and wife step up with choreography and original piano compositions for fun group dancing.
This friendly how-to guide, created by the Greathouse couple from Portland, Oregon, contains 12 original music scores with corresponding instructions for dance choreography. With a background in music and dance—he’s a composer who plays the accordion; she’s a dancer who also sang on Czechoslovak National Radio—the Greathouses describe their dances as “folk-inspired, contemporary.” Eye-catching black-and-white photos are included with each musical score in this slim, easy-to-flip edition, and the original compositions range from peaceful pieces such as the aptly titled “Riverflow” to the whimsical “Rainbow.” For more traditional personalities, there’s also a waltz. The book doesn’t have to be used in order, but music teachers may find some engaging pieces for seasonal themes, such as the songs “Spring Rain” and “Fall Calypso.” There are no words included with the songs—this is all about movement—and it could be a great resource for physical fitness programs in schools (children as young as early elementary age could follow the dance instructions with practice) or adult group settings, including community or senior centers. Choreography with each piece is meant to match the music exactly and, for the most part, is simple to understand: for instance, the beginning of the piece “Stepping Along” prompts dancers to “start in a circle holding hands facing center of circle.” A glossary gives clear definitions, such as the succinct explanation for arabesque: “The position of the body supported on one leg, with the other leg extended behind the body, both knees straight, torso vertical.” For a visual supplement, readers can watch the dances on the authors’ website, greathouseofmusic.com, which has easy-to-find, conveniently labeled videos of every dance in the book. Internet links to each video are also included at the end of the print book. The dances here are intended for fun, and music teachers or group leaders who can read music will appreciate this duo’s energy and enthusiasm for movement.
A viable, enjoyable dance resource.