From Dean Speer:
I'm thrilled to let you know about my new book, ON TECHNIQUE, which will be available in late January 2010 from University Press of Florida. It profiles the careers of 18 pedagogues, myself included, and features their responses to questions about teaching. This is a project that I've worked on for nearly five years, and the results are a book that is beautiful and chock full of interesting life stories, anecdotes, and very thoughtful insights into the nature of imparting trained skill and knowledge. I'm so happy the University Press of Florida agreed to take it on.
As a special promotion to my friends, family, and colleagues, the Press is offering a special 25% pre-publication discount on ON TECHNIQUE through March 1, 2010. To purchase copies of my book for just $22.50 (a savings of $7.45 off the cover price of $29.95), call the Press toll-free at 1-800-226-3822 and mention discount code "SPEER1." This discount is available only by phone.
I've included a brief description of the book below. For a complete overview, visit http://upf.com/book.asp?id=SPEER001
I hope the New Year finds you well. Please do order a copy of my book and let everyone know about it. It's worth it! After you've read it, let me know what you think. I'm happy to hear from you at any time. In advance, thank you.
About ON TECHNIQUE:
What do we mean when we say someone has beautiful technique? Or that students need to develop a "hard-core" technique? Is there a difference between skill and technique? What should a good teacher be expected to do? What are the challenges that students most often face? What does a good class look like to you? How did you become a dancer? Who were your favorite teachers, and how did they help you? These are but a few of the questions that Dean Speer posed to seventeen of the world's most respected ballet masters, principals, and artistic directors. Their responses--and thus their priceless insights into the world of dance--provide a fascinating look at the careers and teaching philosophies of artists at the top of their game. Featuring such artists as Peter Boal (artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet) and Bené Arnold (first ballet mistress of the San Francisco Ballet), this volume also includes interviews with Gwenn Barker, Damara Bennett, Yvonne Cartier, Karen Gibbons-Brown, Gloria Govrín, Cynthia Harvey, Finis Jhung, Roni Mahler, David Moroni, Dennis Nahat, Nina Novak, Francia Russell, Martin Schläpfer, Gina Sinclair, and Sally Streets Nichols. In making these selections, Speer sought to present a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and geographic locations.
ON TECHNIQUE offers fascinating insights into the nature of both performance and artistic instruction, and puts a very human cast on legendary and ordinary teachers alike. Speer's approach minimizes the traditional pedagogical divisions, revealing the sometimes surprising convergences of experience and opinion among these world-class talents.
Dean Speer is the founding director of the Chehalis (Washington) Ballet Center, former artistic director of the Chattanooga Ballet, and regular contributor to BALLET-DANCE Magazine.