“Reading such intelligent, formidable prose about Ms. Tharp is a joy.”—New York Times
“Not only does Siegel furnish us with highly detailed descriptions of various Tharp works and vivid accounts of particular performances, she also tries to give us a real sense of the creative process as manifested in this particular artist.”—Los Angeles Times
“Siegel provides a wealth of insight into the choreographer’s groundbreaking movement vocabulary and its development over four decades. . . . A thoughtful record of Tharp’s oeuvre and a must for theater and dance scholars and aficionados.”—Publishers Weekly
“For those of us who experienced these dances live, the book summons images of a heady era in recent dance history. For those who missed these works (even the ephemera), the prose makes us regret our absence.”—Dance Magazine
“Siegel’s attention to detail allows the history of Tharp to become a story. She ties Tharp’s past to her present work, as well as the evolution of American dance. In so doing, she carves a permanent place for Tharp within written dance history.”—Dance Research Journal
For more than five decades, Twyla Tharp has been a phenomenon in American dance, a choreographer who not only broke the rules but refused to repeat her own successes. Tharp has made movies, television specials, and nearly one hundred riveting dance works. Her dance show Movin’ Out ran on Broadway for three years and won Tharp a Tony award for Best Choreography.
Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance is the only in-depth study of Twyla Tharp’s unique, restless creativity. This second edition features a new forward that brings the account of Tharp’s work up to date and discusses how dance and dance-making in the United States have changed in recent years. This is the story of a choreographer who refused to be pigeonholed and the dancers who accompanied her as she sped across the frontiers of dance.
Marcia B. Siegel is senior contributor in dance for ArtsFuse.org and contributing editor for the Hudson Review. She covered dance for 16 years at the Boston Phoenix and is the author of several books, including Days on Earth: The Dance of Doris Humphrey and The Shapes of Change: Images of American Dance.
“Nicolas Legat . . . left his mark on any and all who sought his tutelage.”—from the introduction by Robert Greskovic, dance writer, Wall Street Journal
The Legat Legacy brings back into print two classic works that offer rare insights into the golden age of Russian ballet. The first, Ballet Russe: Memoirs of Nicolas Legat, takes readers into the last three decades of the Imperial Ballet before the 1917 Russian Revolution. Written by Nicolas Legat (1869–1937), one of the great creative geniuses of classical ballet, these memoirs recount Legat’s experiences as principal dancer before he fled to Europe to escape the Russian Civil War. The book is filled with memorable character descriptions and includes some of Legat’s unique, celebrated caricatures.
The second, Heritage of a Ballet Master: Nicolas Legat, is a valuable testament to Legat’s classroom pedagogy. Assembled by Legat student, professional dancer, and prolific author John Gregory (1914–1996) to showcase the four complete classes that Legat wrote out by hand for his student the ballet star André Eglevsky (1917–1977), this book also features several Legat classes remembered by other students. In addition, it contains music for the classes, Legat’s drawings, photographs of him in performance, and other archival material. It includes a brief biography of Legat and fascinating remembrances from his former students, among them Alicia Markova and Léonide Massine, and a forward by Alexandra Danilova. Marked by their variety and musicality, Legat’s teachings are preserved here for future generations of dancers to discover.
Mindy Aloff is a dance writer based in New York. She is the editor of Dance in America: A Reader’s Anthology and Agnes de Mille’s Leaps in the Dark: Art and the World.
“This detailed portrait of a singular woman will be of interest to dance, education, and women’s studies collections.”—Library Journal
“Ross sketches the end of the constraints of the Victorian age and the feminist liberation through changes in fashion, health practices and physical education for women.”—Dance Magazine
“Highly recommended reading for its breadth of research and depth of analysis. Ross’s scholarship is impressive.”—Journal of Dance Education
“Mak[es] the case that H’Doubler’s life work led to an educational environment where empowerment of body, creative vision, and their synthesis through movement became a real option for American students. . . . A provocative and thoroughly engaging book.”—Dance Research Journal
“Engaging and well-researched. . . . The book is not only a history and biography but also a testimonial to Margaret H’Doubler’s determination and tenacity.”—Theatre Journal
Moving Lessons: Margaret H’Doubler and the Beginning of Dance in American Education is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H’Doubler (1889–1982), who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance. Janice Ross shows how H’Doubler changed the way Americans thought, not just about female physicality but also about higher education for women. In this second edition, Ross adds new details on H’Doubler’s radical pedagogy—including her use of a skeleton as a teaching tool in the classroom—and reflections on recent developments in dance studies and education.
Janice L. Ross is professor of theater and performance studies at Stanford University. She is the author of Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia and Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance.