Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: Dance to the Piper

Recommended Posts

Just wondering if anyone has read this book. It was recommended to me by my teacher, so any reviews of it before I read it would be appreciated!

Link to comment

This book is a classic, explaining what ballet and theatrical dancing in the US was like during the post-WWI era. Agnes de Mille had a very poor body for dancing, but she made it do what it didn't want to do. She was also fiercely intelligent, the granddaughter of economist Henry George, and fiercely theatrical, the niece of Cecil B. de Mille. She writes excitingly, and very personally, although I don't agree with some of the things she says, I still believe it is a "must-read" for Young Dancers. It is, unfortunately, out of print, so you'll have to get it through your local library.

Link to comment

I find it so fascinating that people like her- who nowadays would for sure not even be accepted for a single SI at a professional ballet school because of their body type- in former decades when the reglementations concerning the ideal dancers body did not use to be as strong as today still became remarkable and famous dancers!


Nowadays unfortunately they would not even get the slightest chance to develop a pro dancing career.

Link to comment

De Mille was known more for her choreography than for her actual dancing, although she did create the role of the Cowgirl in her own ballet "Rodeo" for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She was also one of the goddesses/old broads in Antony Tudor's "Judgment of Paris" for Ballet Theatre. She was hysterical.

Link to comment

Well, if it is a must-read and a classic then I will be sure to pick it up. They have it at my local library, but it was checked out last time I looked it up. Thanks for the reviews Mr. Johnson and Shulie!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...