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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: Dance to the Piper


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SmallButPowerful

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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SmallButPowerful

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!

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