Reading Dance: A Gathering of Memoirs, Reportage, Criticism, Profiles, Interviews, and Some Uncategorizable Extras

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  • ASIN: 037542122X

Product Description

      Robert Gottliebu2019s immense sampling of the dance literatureu2013by far the largest such project ever attemptedu2013is both inclusive, to the extent that inclusivity is possible when dealing with so vast a field, and personal: the result of decades of reading.

It limits itself of material within the experience of todayu2019s general readers, avoiding, for instance, academic historical writing and treatises on technique, its earliest subjects are those nineteenth-century works and choreographers that still resonate with dance lovers today: Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake; Bournonville and Petipa. And, as Gottlieb writes in his introduction, u201CThe twentieth century focuses to a large extent on the achievements and personalities that dominated itu2013from Pavlova and Nijinsky and Diaghilev to Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, from Ashton and Balanchine and Robbins to Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp, from Fonteyn and Farrell and Gelsey Kirkland (u201Cthe Judy Garland of Balletu201D) to Nureyev and Baryshnikov and Astaireu2013as well as the critical and reportorial voices, past and present, that carry the most conviction.u201D

In structuring his anthology, Gottlieb explains, he has u201Ctried to help the reader along by arranging its two hundred-plus entries into a coherent groups.u201D Apart from the sections on major personalities and important critics, there are sections devoted to interviews (Tamara Toumanova, Antoinette Sibley, Mark Morris); profiles (Lincoln Kirstein, Bob Fosse, Olga Spessivtseva); teachers; accounts of the birth of important works from Petrouchka to Apollo to Push Comes to Shove; and the movies (from Arlene Croce and Alastair Macauley on Fred Astaire to director Michael Powell on the making of The Red Shoes). Here are the voices of Cecil Beaton and Irene Castle, Ninette de Valois and Bronislava Nijinska, Maya Plisetskaya and Allegra Kent, Serge Lifar and JosxE9 LimxF3n, Alicia Markova and Natalia Makarova, Ruth St. Denis and Michel Fokine, Susan Sontag and Jean Renoir. Plus a group of obscure, even eccentric extras, including an account of Pavlova going shopping in London and recipes from Tanaquil LeClerqu2019s cookbook.u201D

With its huge range of content accompanied by the anthologistu2019s incisive running commentary, Reading Dance will be a source of pleasure and instruction for anyone who loves dance.

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