Hiking the Horizontal
Field Notes from a Choreographer

Now available here!

Wesleyan University Press
2011 • 288 pp. 503 illus. 6 x 9″
Dance $29.95 Cloth, 978-0-8195-6951-6

The unique career of Liz Lerman has taken her from theater stages to shipyards, and from synagogues to science labs. In this wide-ranging collection of essays and articles, she reflects on her life-long exploration of dance as a vehicle for human insight and understanding of the world around us.

Described by the Washington Post as "the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art," Lerman here combines broad outlooks on culture and society with practical applications and accessible stories. Her expansive scope encompasses the craft, structure, and inspiration that bring theatrical works to life as well as the applications of art in fields as diverse as faith, aging, particle physics, and human rights law. Offering readers a gentle manifesto describing methods that bring a horizontal focus to bear on a hierarchical world, this is the perfect book for anyone curious about the possible role for art in politics, science, community, motherhood, and the media.

"Lerman is that rare artist who has pioneered new pathways into the human spirit, and who is blessed with the facility of not just creating her art but of explaining it as well. Hiking the Horizontal is a combination of explanation and inquiry, couched in a narrative that is contagious with sensitivity, grace, and wisdom."
—Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman, rabbi, Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual, Hebrew Union College

"Liz Lerman defies categorization, mixing ideas and practices we are taught to keep separate. She catapults herself into art and politics, science and spirituality, community-based and high art contexts. This generous book will give heart to artists who both respect tradition and seek their own path."
—Jan Cohen Cruz, director, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life

"The author tells her story in such a generous and transparent fashion that one easily grasps her profound observations and provocative inquiries. You will feel like a partner in her journey. Lerman's concise text inspires and equips the reader with a host of new perspectives from which to tackle the making of artworks. Probably best appreciated by those who have engaged in artistic explorations, Lerman's ideas are novel, deep, and challenging and, as such, require time to take in, analyze, and potentially adopt."
-Lisa Jo Sagolla, Back Stage: The Actor's Resource