By Mindy Aloff
Mindy Aloff, a number one dance critic who has written for The state, the hot Republic, and The New Yorker, has introduced jointly right here a wonderful booklet of news by way of and approximately dancers--entertaining and informative anecdotes that trap the boundless type and richness of dance as an artwork, a practice, a career, a hobby, an obsession, a truth, and, for the dancer, a fantastic. George Balanchine is right here, and so are Fred Astaire, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Savion Glover, Martha Graham, and Lola Montez, and in addition stars from different arts--such as Akira Kurosawa and Bob Dylan--who have spoken approximately dancing with wit or illumination. There are tales approximately Irene and Vernon fortress, Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, Paul Taylor and Mark Morris. We examine the aura and spontaneity of Anna Pavlova, concerning the mystery to Vaslav Nijinsky's luck (''I labored like an ox and that i lived like a martyr''), approximately George Balanchine racing to a union dispute with a bag of dimes. the various tales are a laugh, yet a few are rueful, even unhappy, and some are darkish. Aloff concludes the quantity with an essay approximately how dancing has been in a position to checklist its earlier, occasionally over centuries, and approximately how the paintings of the dancer, it sounds as if as ephemeral in functionality as cloud styles, seems, whilst stipulations are hospitable, to be even more hardy and resilient than many of us think. a wonderful prom of reports that reach way back to classical occasions and as a long way afield as Japan, India, and Java, this terrific assortment might be precious by way of every person who loves dance, no matter if younger or previous.
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Additional info for Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance
I don’t know if this is what you want,” I said. I did the dance, and afterward Graham said, “Oh, it’s fine. ” (Merce Cunningham) —Copland, p. 41 On Vagina Envy I know my dances and technique are considered deeply sexual, but I pride myself in placing onstage what most people hide in their deepest thoughts. . ” . . Not that my frank descriptions haven’t gotten me into more than a little trouble. On our first tour of Asia, in Tokyo, one of my chorus girls had wandered off with several American sailors and was nowhere to be 28 DA N C E A N E C D O T E S found for the matinee performance.
CAVETT: The phone didn’t ring? ASHTON: The phone didn’t ring, not a single offer or anything. So I had to start all over again, so to speak. CAVETT: That ballet is not in the repertory? ASHTON: Oh, no, no, no, good gracious. Much too trivial. It was a sort of number in a revue, really, but still it was the beginning. CAVETT: What was it about? I imagine it as being something in which a model murders the—someone with some scissors. ASHTON: No, I was the couturier, who tried to launch a model which nobody liked, and then in despair I cut myself with scissors.
It is doubtful if she could have survived some of the extremes of pressure, which frequently descended upon her, had she been otherwise, and it surely requires a great complexity of resource to suggest simplicity, without appearing merely simplistic; a rare art, in fact. (Keith Money, biographer) —Daneman, p. 578 Simplicity II Margot Fonteyn Arias The entire legend on the bronze plaque in the cemetery outside Panama City, where the ballerina’s ashes are interred at the foot of the tomb of her husband, Tito Arias.