kyriacarlisle: still life: books and glasses (books)
[personal profile] kyriacarlisle posting in [community profile] dreams_library
I need to do some catching up on dance and dance history (the classic "librarian two books ahead of likely reference questions" approach). I'm especially interested in ballet and modern, though if there's a magnificent book about another dance form, I'm very glad to know about that, too.

Much though I loved them as a child, I'm not really looking for books like A Very Young Dancer or Life at the Royal Ballet School (although if you happen to be looking for a graphic novel about ballet, try Siena Cherson Siegel & Mark Siegel, To Dance). I'm also not so very interested in hagiography - in my usual field, I'd think of this as the ten zillion coffee table books about Maria Callas. On the other hand, if the photographs are simply too revelatory to pass up....

I'm reading Apollo's Angels now. I've already read Dance to the Piper, Winter Season, Off Balance, and Behind the Scenes at the Boston Ballet.

Date: 2011-07-29 02:15 am (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Bare-chested, tattooed man, holding a woman draped across his back with their foreheads touching. (Dance)
From: [personal profile] jumpuphigh
I liked this book about Martha Graham.

Martha by Agnes de Mille

Date: 2011-07-29 02:33 am (UTC)
themis: Maggie Cheung & Tony Leung in Fa Yeung Nin Wa. (wkw: y así pasan los días)
From: [personal profile] themis
Peter Ostwald's Nijinsky: A Leap Into Madness is, despite the title, a thorough and unsensational look at the dancer. His dance commentary is not quite as good as his biographical or psychological commentary, but if you're interested it's probably worth it.

There's also Dance, Sex, and Gender by Judith Lynne Hanna, an academic work - but it's about 20 years old so a lot of the thinking and terminology has developed. (I found it interesting but disappointing.)

And this isn't a book, but the documentary Ballets Russes from Zeitgeist is interesting and entertaining. There are a whole bunch of first person interviews in it.

Date: 2011-07-29 04:08 am (UTC)
anne: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anne
Dance history, my first fandom! I haven't been keeping up with it, so just off the top of my head...

Ivor Guest wrote several books on 19th century ballet; the title I can think of is _Fanny Elssler_, but I know he also did surveys of the Romantic ballet in England and France. (Unless the French book was about the Second Empire; I'm pretty sure I learned about the sad death of Emma Livry from him.)

Deborah Jowitt, _Time and the Dancing Image_, read it in grad school, adored it. (but grad school was ~15 yrs ago?)

I forget the author of the next one: _Dance is a Contact Sport_, is the title; sports(?) journalist embedded in the NYCB for a year in the '70s.

Solomon Volkov interviewed Balanchine; I don't know what the English title is, but the French one is _Conversations avec George Balanchine_.

Arlene Croce, dance critic for the New Yorker, has a couple of collections out.

Wendy Hilton wrote the definitive modern book on French Baroque dance: _Dance of Court and Theater_. (Unless it's been supplanted since she died, but I kind of doubt it. It's the kind of work "magisterial" was invented to describe.)

Autobiographies are hit and miss, of course. I loved Roland Petit's _J'ai dansé sur les flots_, and I think I heard he'd written a second one, but I haven't seen it. Paul Taylor, _Private Domain_. Oh, Margot Fonteyn wrote hers, but it's nothing like de Mille's _Speak to Me, Dance with Me_. I haven't read _Dance to the Piper_, embarrassingly enough!

Most of my tap history came from videos and word of mouth, not books, but I can poke around the Internet and see if I can remember titles. The only one I'm sure of is _No Maps on My Taps_, which is mesmerizing.

Um, yeah. I do go on, don't I? If I think of anything else, I'll let you know....
Edited Date: 2011-07-29 04:09 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-30 01:23 am (UTC)
anne: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anne
Please let me know if you want French translations; that's my thing. (Well, technically I'm a medievalist, but I started learning French because I was such a bunhead, and then I just kind of mutated.)

If you want Ballets Russes stuff, the University of Texas at Austin has the Harry Random Humanities Research Collection (or Center, now, I think), which has a fair few Ballets Russes costumes--like almost all the ones from the original production of Le Sacre du Printemps. I don't know what else they have--ephemera, certainly, and possibly also notes, designs, etc. The Bernard Taper bio of Balanchine might be a starting point for Ballets Russes stuff, though IIRC it's a bit hagiographic.

Good luck, and let me know if I can help. I have lots of random facts rattling around in my head, and might be able to save you some time.

Date: 2011-07-29 09:43 am (UTC)
emei: (dance jump)
From: [personal profile] emei
'Dancer' by Colum McCann is a fabulous novel, a literary fantasy about Rudolf Nureyev, a fictionalised biography. Interesting life story, and good ballet parts.

Date: 2011-07-29 11:47 am (UTC)
ar: Kay and Julius Eaton reading a manuscript. (ds9 - farverse reading)
From: [personal profile] ar
Tap! by Rusty E. Frank is an enjoyable oral history of the dance form from 1900 to 1955. Each section gives you some background on the person being interviewed, and then it's just a bunch of Jane Withers or Ann Miller or whoever talking about their experiences. I bought the book for the sections on Donald O'Connor and Peggy Ryan, which are worth it just in themselves, but the whole thing is a really interesting look at the ways show business and dance intersected at the time.

Date: 2011-07-29 05:50 pm (UTC)
anne: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anne
Seconded.

Date: 2011-07-31 03:51 pm (UTC)
books2thesky: (Default)
From: [personal profile] books2thesky
Not an in-depth book, obviously, but I'm fond of "101 Stories of the Great Ballets" by George Balanchine and Francis Mason as good handbook for summaries and scene-by-scene overviews of a huge number of ballets.

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