"Part manifesto, part memoir, part social critique, part documentation of art events....with poems, photographs, and essays ... this book is impressive in its distinctive style and utter frankness. John Ollom shares his development as an artist and gay man, taking us through his work as a teacher, dancer, and choreographer. Drawing on insights from Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, and a variety of other thinkers, the approach is interdisciplinary and mythopoetic, deeply rooted in the intelligence, sensitivity, and vulnerability of the body. Easily accessible and very thought-provoking, Ollom's account of his journey, and the aesthetic and pedagogy that has resulted from it, will be of interest to all teachers and practitioners of dance, theater, and movement. But beyond that, it is a moving and imaginative account of a personal journey, recommended for the general reader."
- Robert Gross
"This is a wild inspirational journey into the creative process of the author and how he uses his pathos to break through artistically. I refrain from calling John Ollom a choreographer because he is so much more. Seer? Sage? Catalyst? All three? Perhaps. I am not a very introspective person and I shy away from psychobabble yet I could not put this book down. Of course, it did raise questions of self-doubt. I had the privilege of seeing M.U.D. performed live and yet I did not understand some of the imagery or symbolism that he so painstakingly detailed in the book. That of course is my own shortcoming and not a reflection of John’s brilliance. Nevertheless, both the performance and the book made me want to dance, or at least move to my own beat, perhaps even sky clad."
- John Caminiti
This is art therapy on steroids. I just finished Chapter One and I can see that I will be revisiting John Ollom's work over and over as I continue my healing journey.
- Brendan Rowe, Sexual Abuse Survivor and Activist
This is a beautiful book, just the material object in your hand. It's colorfully illustrated and nicely designed. Some of the pages hold only short poems or aphorisms and it's easy to just riffle through the pages reading here and there, admiring the images of nature, of colorful abstracts, and especially of costumed (and not so costumed) dancers.
Internal Landscapes is a documentation of choreographer John Ollom's art and production. Within the book are descriptions of performances and art festivals. In that sense, it is like his portfolio or an art catalogue or program.
But it is also more than that because Ollom's dance performances are more than just "art." They are also psychological, archetypal experiences and adventures in consciousness. The book opens with a discussion of how John Ollom learned to use movement to elict deep experience in his dance students: Chapter 1 is titled "Psychological and Anthropological Findings." The stories in myth and legend--which often form the "libretto" of music and dance--have become canonized because they capture deep human experience and common patterns in life--as mythical, not logical. They speak to something deeper than the conscious mind. Movement is a way to sidestep logic and awaken the mythic unconscious mind. Dance creates what in other contexts would be called ritual, and like ritual, dance can bring repressed and denied stories to the surface. Movement and dance act as a kind of psychoanalytic trigger for opening the mind. And in performance, the observer is also called to follow the dancer into his or her own deep unconscious. The book's title "Internal Landscapes," of course, alludes to this power to reach into and waken the mind.
The writing style is a little inelegant at times, but this isn't literature or a book about writing. It's a book about the power of art and movement. A clumsy sentence here and there can be forgiven. I liked this book. I especially like John Ollom's intention to move art and dance into the realm of psychological medicine and transcendence. This is dance movement as yoga and contemplation. And beautifully done!
- Toby Johnson
This is an excellent book for anyone in the arts, whether it is dance,acting,writing or painting. Once you read this book it becomes your reference book. It will help you excel in any creative work. It is definitely a must have. It is a amazing to say the least. I definitely recommend. It is a must read.
- Shirley Hardie
Internal Landscapes is the culmination of fourteen years of movement research, movement technique classes and personal introspection that have created the revolutionary methodology of Internal Landscapes. John Ollom’s practice is defined as archetypal movement that leads to art creation.
Many dancers, actors, performance artists and non-performers have come to work with John Ollom, the creator of the Internal Landscapes© methodology and his company of Ollom Movement Artists. Peer into a book that not only educates, but tells personal stories of unbelievable honesty. Issues of rape, homosexuality, and survival through trauma have been addressed in this methodology. Artists that have dared to have the courage to create art that is poignant and revelatory have found John Ollom’s practice to be the key to their process.
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For more information email: Info@JohnOllom.com
Copyright 2018. John Ollom: Teacher - Choreographer - Movement Artist - Artistic Director. All Rights Reserved.