FREE: Dance for Television – A Production Handbook

In 1978, I was awarded a fellowship to study how to produce and direct dance for television as part of the American Dance Festival at Duke University.

There, I learned from visionary leaders who were inventing how to cover dance on camera: Merrill Brockway, Emile Ardolino, Judy Kinberg, Ralph Holmes and many others. Out of that experience I wrote an 85-page production handbook specifically for video folks to improve how they create dance for video.

Chapters include:

Dance is radically different from drama. It is staged, lit, rehearsed, and directed differently. All our instincts for drama will diminish a dance; which is why I wrote this book in the first place – we need to change our thinking.

This book explains what you need to know to make dance look great on camera. With this edition, I’ve updated the text to make it searchable, added photos and improved the illustrations.

Best of all, it is FREE! Pass this on to your friends and share your thoughts and comments below.

Click here to viewright-click link to download. (PDF – 28 MB)



By downloading this file, you promise to abide by three rules:

Other than that, you are encouraged to give this link – or book – to anyone you think will benefit from it. Enjoy!

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9 Responses to FREE: Dance for Television – A Production Handbook

  1. Tim Parkin says:

    Many thanks for this – I have literally just started prepping a 4 part TV documentary series on dance for UK TV. Although I have worked extensively with dancers, musicians and actors all my career, I am sure this will be well worth a read as I prep this dance series – great timing – thanks!

  2. Bill Corrigan says:

    Thanks Larry!

  3. Dave Muehsam says:

    RE your disclaimer, don’t worry too much about your earlier gender identification. In the olden days (pre-1970s) the word “he” was used for both genders solely to simplify the read. No offense should be taken- by now we should all know extremely talented tradesfolk of both genders and varied identities.

  4. Lee Walkup says:

    Thank you, Larry! Such a thorough work on tv production for dance. So good of you to share. Btw, if anyone is interested, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is streaming a dance piece live this Thursday at 8pm EDT (Free): “Spaces”, by Wynton Marsalis. “Combines modern dance with big band jazz in a playful and wildly entertaining exploration of the animal kingdom.” More info: Streaming Link: Thanks again for your book.

  5. Thanks for sharing this work, very timely.

  6. Hank Neimark says:

    This book is an invaluable resource for anyone contemplating shooting choreographed movement for TV.
    I knew Merrill, Emil, and Judy both professionally and personally and I am particularly proud of the shows I did for them as Stage Manager from 1975 onwards. In fact it was their willingness to trust a 33 year old with the task of dealing with dancers and with the immortals of the dance world (Balanchine, Joffrey, Graham, etc.) that served as a Springboard for my wonderful career. To this day I have many friends in the world of dance.
    I got to use what I learned from them when I finally got to direct a broadcast of Ballets With A Twist for Lincoln Center.
    You couldn’t have done better job with p.33 (Floor Managers) if you had interviewed me personally.

  7. Gayle Kellon Christensen says:

    Thanks, Larry! As a former dancer/choreographer myself I’m really interested in seeing if as a producer I would naturally know the right way to shoot dance for TV, or if I’m way off the mark. Looking forward to the read!

  8. BN Lavender says:

    Thanks, Larry, for so generously sharing this! I just skimmed enough to know I will be reading this in detail.

  9. Thank you Mr.Larry Jordan for good Video Education book! YURY CHUMAKOV. SAINT PETERSBURG. RUSSIA.

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