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The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together Hardcover – November 24, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
I fully agree with everything she says. Collaborations differ according to whether the rest of the team is nearby or distant, or is a friend, institution, or community. Collaboration is learned, and it matters critically in all but the smallest kind of endeavor. And, as in everything else, careful preparation and hard, continuous work improve your chances of success as much as they can be improved. Tharp illustrates these points largely through her own experience with dancers like Barishnikov, dance companies around the world, and small companies of her own. Always, in the relationship between choreographer and dancer, there is an asymmetry: the choreographer designs and the dancer executes. Tharp emphasizes the other half of this relationship as well: the choreographer pays close attention to each dancer, as well, in order to discover and play to their unique strengths. And, of course, performers collaborate with the audience. She illustrates this with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." That nearly failed as a stage production until the creators added one song: the introduction, "... comedy tonight." Once viewers had their expectations set properly, they loved it.
Each chapter ends with a case study: Steve Martin, clothing designer Norma Kamali, her experience with David Byrne, and more. These add focus and concreteness to the discussion. They also emphasize the rewards of successful collaboration for all concerned.Read more ›
It would be a mistake to ignore the reference to "habit" in their titles because almost three decades of research conducted by K. Anders Ericsson and his associates at Florida State University clearly indicate that, on average, at least 10,000 hours of must be invested in "deliberate," iterative practice under strict and expert supervision to achieve peak performance, be it playing a game such as chess or a musical instrument such as the violin. Natural talent is important, of course, as is luck. However, with rare exception, it takes about ten years of sustained, focused, supervised, and (yes) habitual practice to master the skills that peak performance requires.
Tharp is both a dancer and a choreographer and thus brings two authoritative, indeed enlightened perspectives to her discussion of the life lessons for working together. Many of the same requirements for effective collaboration on classic Disney animated films such as Snow White and Pinocchio must also be accommodated when members of an orchestra and of a ballet company collaborate on a performance of Stravinsky's The Firebird.
Tharp characterizes herself as a "career collaborator" who identifies problems, organizes them, and solves them by working with others. Many of the stories she shares in this book "involve the world of dance, but you don't have to know anything about dance to get the pint. Work is work.Read more ›
To say she can be intimidating is to understate.
Her features are sharp, her hair is no-nonsense white, her glasses are oversized and round. Somewhere below her neck is a small, taut body, and a white shirt and loose jeans, but none of that matters. Only her gaze does, and it was focused on this newcomer with curiosity and skepticism.
I thought: I am not worthy.
I'm surely not the first to think that. Tharp revolutionized dance with her insistence that classical ballet and modern movement need not be antagonists, and over a 40-year career, she's explored that breakthrough idea in a dizzying catalogue of greatest hits. She's choreographed movies. She's had a Broadway hit. She was anointed with a MacArthur Fellowship, the one that certifies you as a "genius". And she's written two books. One is an autobiography,"Push Comes to Shove". The other, "The Creative Habit; Learn It and Use It for Life", is a surprise --- a wise guide for the general reader about harnessing your personal creativity.
It was a book that brought us together. Her new one, "The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together", would be published by Simon & Schuster in November. She'd written enough for several volumes, and would, in time, surely have been able to carve a book out of it. But she was also embarking on a new show --- "Come Fly With Me", a night of dance built around Frank Sinatra songs --- and her time was tight.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Personal stories with past collaborators and what she learned in the process.Published 4 months ago by erica
Almost as fantastic as the author - Twyla Tharp is an American icon with a sharp eye and ability to articulate the unspoken realities of what it takes to create and maintain... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Suzanne Hogan
Great easy read about an amazingly talented woman who's done incredible things and worked with incredible people. The book came in a timely fashion just as described. Thanks!Published 21 months ago by Josephine Siu
Every dancer needs this book. It helps you translation through works in progress. I often reread chapters two or three times because it was that good!Published on January 8, 2014 by Noah James
This book has been interesting to read, but I haven't come across the kind of details and particulars that would help me develop and refine my own collaborative habit.Published on July 14, 2013 by Laurie Calland
Tharp makes dance & working one. Getting it done. Getting to done with others. It is about us all in synch & given individuality, challenging. Read morePublished on October 27, 2011 by Barbara A. Mcdonald
This book is awesome, it might not be "formatted" how people are expecting, but that's really the point of the book(I love how the book is formatted btw). Read morePublished on December 19, 2010 by Amazon Customer