Books to Read
closed book “The true University of these days is a Collection of Books.”
— Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), The Hero as a Man of Letters
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Dance Books: sculpturing space with the flower of time...
Robert Tracy, Goddess: Martha Graham's Dancers Remember Robert Tracy (Editor), Goddess: Martha Graham's Dancers Remember(1997), Limelight Editions, ISBN: 0879100869— In Robert Tracy's oral history, Goddess: Martha Graham's Dancers Remember, Graham's passion and creativity are recalled by 30 of her dancers from the 1920s to the 1990s, including Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Rudolf Nureyev, Anna Sokolow, and more. These Graham dancers recall the complex experience of studying, working and performing with this small giant of a woman. Their commentary illuminates the creation and performance of such now classic Graham works as Heretic, Primitive Mysteries, Letter to the World, Deaths and Entrances, Herodiade, Appalachian Spring, Dark Meadow, Cave of the Heart, Night Journey, Diversion of Angels and Clytemnestra. As the artists relive their time with Graham, their words and voices sound with stunning authenticity, while the incidents and the emotions they remember range from moments of exaltation and exhilaration to those of humiliation and fury. Throughout this remarkable oral history, legendary dancers show us Martha Graham as she has never been seen before— at work and in love, giving and demanding, inspiring and imperious, and as a presence that will always be with them. 5 stars
Paul Taylor, Private Domain: An Autobiography Paul Taylor, Private Domain: An Autobiography(1st paperback edition 1999), University of Pittsburgh Press, ISBN: 0822956993— Paul Taylor has been a dominant force in dance for four decades, acclaimed by critics as “the world's greatest living choreographer.” His dances are extraordinarily beautiful and exciting. In this compelling autobiography, Taylor explores the dichotomies in his personality, the “pure hues, true silences, perfect vacuums” out of which have grown his dances. He recalls the creation of Aureole and From Sea to Shining Sea—from their initial ideas to the ways in which specific dancers influenced the choreography. We see Laura Dean, Twyla Tharp, Dan Wagoner— all of whom went on to form their own companies; and Bettie de Jong, Nicholas Gunn, and Carolyn Adams— who remained as much a part of the Taylor style as the choreography itself. Taylor writes with sincerity and wit of his associations with Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, and George Balanchine. With Taylor's superb narrative sense and wonderful wry humor, Private Domain is a revelation of the artist and the man. It was nominated by the National Book Critics Circle as the most distinguished biography of 1987. I enjoyed especially Taylor's hilarious description of the breakdown he suffered onstage in Brooklyn in 1974, which forced him to stop dancing. 5 stars
Paul Bottomer, Let's Dance! Paul Bottomer, Let's Dance!(1998), Black Dog & Leventhal Pub, ISBN: 1579120466— Learn to Swing, Rumba, Tango, Line Dance, Cha-Cha, Waltz, Two-Step, Foxtrot and Salsa with style, grace and ease. Imagine a professional dance course in your own living room! These fun and easy-to-follow lessons from Paul Bottomer, international dance champion, will make you and your partner the image of confidence, grace and style on the dance floor. Whether you're a beginner or have already spun, turned and dipped many nights away, this unique compendium teaches you all the basic steps and the most dramatic advanced moves: from hot Latin rhythms to classic ballroom dances to hip swing combinations. Step-by-step photographs of professional dancers lead the way, accompanied by foot-print diagrams and easy-to-follow directions. Each move is perfectly illustrated so you can just look, learn and effortlessly follow along. In a couple of quick and fun nights of practice, anyone can pick up the right dance for any event: from salsa for a night at the hottest Latin club and line dancing for a country western event to the waltz for a formal wedding. Tips, dance history and style points help refine your understanding and enjoyment of the dances before you even step on the dance floor. Avg. Review (3): 5 stars

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