Printer Friendly

Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance.

Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance Edited by Mindy Aloft. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 288 pp. Hardcover, $26.

Dance usually speaks for itself, but a few well-chosen words are always welcome. This quirky collection has comments from everyone you ever wished you'd met. Here's Jean Cocteau on Nijinsky, "gasping, sweating, pressing one hand to his heart" after a performance of Le Spectre de la Rose; Martha Graham on letting her hair go white ("The hell I will"); and Hollywood tap phenomenon Eleanor Powell on a surprise visit to the set from Toscanini (he wanted to see "the dance with the noise"). It's a heartfelt homage to dance's best, not to say most outspoken.

Aloff rarely repeats by-now familiar stories. Included are sections on legends like Pavlova and Fonteyn, as well as coaching, partnering, makeup, salary, and other topics that professionals and aficionados will find absorbing. She even works in a cold remedy popular with the endlessly touring Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Some sections lack a strong organizing principle--"Dancing and Related Theatrical Professions" has an inexplicable excerpt on dressage--and sometimes a little more context would be welcome. Cyd Charisse is quoted on Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, with no mention of their movies together. Quibbles aside, like all great conversations, browsing these pages will make an afternoon disappear.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Dance Magazine, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Rubin, Hanna
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Previous Article:Hip hop from head to toe ... June is bustin' out all over!
Next Article:By With To & From: A Lincoln Kirstein Reader.

Related Articles
Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance.
Another Look at the IED.
Jerome Robbins: That Broadway Man, That Ballet Man. (Dancing Around The Real Robbins).
Dance With Demons: The Life of Jerome Robbins. (Dancing Around The Real Robbins).
Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art. (eye).
Harnessing the Wind: the Art of Teaching Modern Dance.
In the shadow of the Reich: modern dance in Hitler's Germany.
Blast from class.
Vaganova: A Dance Journey from Petersburg to Leningrad.
Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Re-Invention of Modern Dance.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters