top of page

Earth Day 2021: How To Repurpose Everyday Items and Choreography

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Created by Martheya Nygaard (kNOwBOX dance Co-Creator & Managing Director)

April 21, 2021, Dallas, Texas, USA

In September 2020, YeaJean Choi and I recorded a podcast interview with Jonathan Burrows to talk about why and how he created A Choreographer’s Handbook. As you might have heard in the episode (listen if you haven’t already) I have been a huge fan of Jonathan Burrows and have overly flagged and highlighted the handbook. As I prepared a small offering for the annual celebration of Earth Day, I wanted to share ways to creatively approach what it means to repurpose. Our conversation with Burrows and his book came to mind. Both Burrows and the handbook explore notions of self at the foreground of creativity, inventiveness, and imagination.

Top Left to Right: Martheya Nygaard, YeaJean Choi, Bottom: Jonathan Burrows

Repurpose : to give a new purpose or use to

More on Jonathan Burrows:

Jonathan Burrows is a choreographer whose main focus is an ongoing body of pieces with the composer Matteo Fargion, with whom he continues to perform around the world. The two men are co-produced by PACT Zollverein Essen and Sadler's Wells Theatre London. His A Choreographer's Handbook has sold over 15,000 copies since its publication in 2010, and is available from Routledge Publishing. Burrows is currently an Associate Professor at the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University.

More on A Choreographer’s Handbook:

On choreography: "Choreography is a negotiation with the patterns your body is thinking"

On rules: "Try breaking the rules on a need to break the rules basis"

A Choreographer’s Handbook invites the reader to investigate how and why to make a dance performance. In an inspiring and unusually empowering sequence of stories, ideas and paradoxes, internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher Jonathan Burrows explains how it’s possible to navigate a course through this complex process.

It is a stunning reflection on a personal practice and professional journey, and draws upon five years’ of workshop discussions, led by Burrows.

Burrows’ open and honest prose gives the reader access to a range of exercises, meditations, principles and ideas on choreography that allow artists and dance-makers to find their own aesthetic process.