In a career that has spanned four decades, choreographer Twyla Tharp has collaborated with great musicians, designers, thousands of dancers, and almost a hundred companies. She's experienced the thrill of shared achievement and has seen what happens when group efforts fizzle. Her professional life has been - and continues to be - one collaboration after another.
In this practical sequel to her national best seller The Creative Habit, Tharp explains why collaboration is important to her - and can be for you. She shows how to recognize good candidates for partnership and how to build one successfully, and analyzes dysfunctional collaborations. And although this isn't a book that promises to help you deepen your romantic life, she suggests that the lessons you learn by working together professionally can help you in your personal relationships.
These lessons about planning, listening, organizing, troubleshooting, and using your talents and those of your coworkers to the fullest are not limited to the arts; they are the building blocks of working with others, like if you're stuck in a 9-to-5 job and have an unhelpful boss.
Tharp sees collaboration as a daily practice, and her book is rich in examples from her career. Starting as a 12-year-old teaching dance to her brothers in a small town in California and moving through her work as a fledgling choreographer in New York, she learns lessons that have enriched her collaborations with Billy Joel, Jerome Robbins, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, David Byrne, Richard Avedon, Milos Forman, Norma Kamali, and Frank Sinatra.
Among the surprising and inspiring points Tharp makes in The Collaborative Habit:
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I liked her book The Creative Habit a lot better. This is interesting because it melds art and business. Tharp takes herself and her work very seriously, and is not just an artist but also understands the business side of things. Her books should get more attention in general but since I'm now the "lead parent" (i.e., SAHM) I just wasn't in the mood for a book on business.
The 5 Needs in Life
This book is very interesting. I was hoping for more of the business aspect of collaboration such as handling the money and finances. That was not
in this book at all, however I really enjoyed the book.
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