Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance (Paperback)

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Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance (Paperback)
Edited by Mindy Aloff

Mindy Aloff, a leading dance critic who has written for The Nation, The New Republic, and The New Yorker, has brought together a marvelous book of stories by and about dancers - entertaining and informative anecdotes that capture the boundless variety and richness of dance as an art, a tradition, a profession, a pastime, an obsession, a reality, and, for the dancer, an ideal.

George Balanchine is here, and so are Fred Astaire, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Savion Glover, Martha Graham, and Lola Montez. There are stories about Irene and Vernon Castle, Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, Paul Taylor and Mark Morris. We read about the charisma and spontaneity of Anna Pavlova, about the secret to Vaslav Nijinsky’s success (“I worked like an ox and I lived like a martyr”), about George Balanchine racing to a union dispute with a bag of dimes. Many of the stories are amusing, but some are rueful, even sad, and a few dark. Aloff concludes the volume with an essay about how dancing has been able to record its past.

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Paperback Edition edition (June 11, 2007)
  • Dimensions: 9.2” W x 0.8” D x 6.1” H


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History

Ballet

In classic or contemporary ballet, dancing may tell a story, express a mood, or simply reflect the music in movement. Ballet as part of staged performances originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and from there spread to France. The creation of classical ballet as we know it today occurred during the reign of the art-loving French king Louis XIV in the mid-17th century. During the Romantic era, ballet technique evolved to express new ideas, most notably with women dancing en point, or on their toes, allowing them to appear weightless and otherworldly.
 
Among the choreographers who helped bring ballet into the modern age by exploring new visual and dramatic styles are George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and—bridging the worlds of classical dance and Broadway—Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins.

 

 

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