David Earle: A Choreographic Biography. By Michele Green
Book Review by Leland Windreich - April 2006
In the 1960s the National Ballet of Canada was in the early throes of audience-building during its second decade of development when David Earle and his partners, Patricia Beatty and Peter Randazzo, introduced Modern Dance to Canadian audiences.
Irina: Ballet, Life and Loves. By Irina Baronova
Book Review by Leland Windreich - January 2006
Neither Tamara Toumanova, who died in 1991, nor Tatiana Riabouchinska, who lived until 2000, ever considered telling the story of their brilliant careers.
My Dearly Beloved Wife! Letters from France and Italy, 1841. By August Bournonville
Book Review by Leland Windreich - December 2005
On March 14, 1841 the Danish principal dancer and ballet-master August Bournonville made his entrance on the stage of the Royal Theatre at Copenhagen in the premiere of his new ballet, “Le Toreador”, only to be greeted by hisses from the gallery.
Vaganova: A Dance Journey from Petersburg to Leningrad. By Vera Krasovskya
Book Review by Leland Windreich - October 2005
The eminent Russian ballet historian Vera Krasovskaya first published her biography of the eminent ballet pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova in 1989, just as the Soviet Union was dissolving.
Dancing Machines: Choreographies of the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. By Felicia McCarren
Book Review by Carrie Gaiser - Spring 2005 (reprinted from Film Quarterly)
Focusing specifically on the Parisian avant-garde from the turn of the century through the 1930s, Dancing Machines succeeds in its attempt to re-place dance into the history of early modern machine culture.
Irina Kolesnikova. By Konstantin Tatchkin's St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
Book Review by Cassandra - February 2005
This beautiful book has been published to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Konstantin Tatchkin’s St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre and is a lavish photographic essay of the company’s star, Irina Kolesnikova.
George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker (Eminent Lives). By Robert Gottlieb
All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine. By Terry Teachout.
Balanchine in Two Small Doses: Two Mini-Bios of the Great Choreographer
Book Review by Leland Windreich - January 2005
But as 2004 drew to a close, two respected New York critics published almost simultaneously two chatty new biographies of Balanchine. I wonder if each was aware of the other’s project and if they anticipated a competition in terms of sales.
Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theater, His Dance. By Deborah Jowitt.
Book Review by Leland Windreich - September 2004
In writing with the approval of the Jerome Robbins Foundation and the Robbins Rights Trust, she was allowed access to vast resources of documents, including the choreographer’s personal archives, his diaries and letters, and filmed records of his works for ballet and the stage.
Leonide Massine and the 20th Century Ballet. By Leslie Norton
Book Review by Leland Windreich - August 2004
In a year that features centennial celebrations for George Balanchine and Frederick Ashton, Leslie Norton pays homage to their nearly forgotten peer, Leonide Massine, in a lively and well-researched study of his life, career and works of choreography.
Mao's Last Dancer. By Li Cunxin
Book Review by Leland Windreich - July 2004
For Li Cunxin, born in 1961, the chances of becoming a world acclaimed ballet dancer were a million to one.
Words of Dance. By Alberta Testa with photography by Alessio Buccafusca
Book Review by Patrizia Vallone - March 2004
Dance as a performing art is mute. It’s all in the body; words are superfluous and often downright useless. The body becomes music, poetry, narration, drawing, sculpture, architecture.
Balanchine: Celebrating a Life in Dance. By Costas
Book Review by Jeff Kuo - January 2004
For those of us who are not annoyed by "Diamonds" without Farrell and fail to depart the theater when "Ballo Della Regina" is not performed by Merrill Ashley, there is Costas’ new book, Balanchine: Celebrating a Life in Dance, the latest entry to celebrate the Balanchine Centenary.
Dance For Export: Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War. By Naima Prevots
Book Review by Mary Louise Hill - 2003
In her fascinating account of dance's particular role in this project, Naima Prevots explores the role of the arts as "cultural diplomat" during the Cold War as well as how the United States government took steps during the 1950s and 1960s to develop a national consciousness about the arts.
Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New World. By Jennifer Fisher
Book Review by Jeff Kuo - December 2003
In five chapters interspersed with personal reflections, Fisher reviews the ballet's history, its themes and motifs, and even its ideological subtext.
NO FIXED POINTS: Dance in the Twentieth Century. By Nancy Reynolds and Malcolm McCormick
Book Review by Leland Windreich - November 2003
Former dancers Nancy Reynolds and Malcolm McCormick have put together a remarkable, generously illustrated survey of theatrical dance, which covers a century that began with Loie Fuller and ended with Billy Elliot.
Eleven. By Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Book Review by Azlan Ezaddin - September 2003
That "Eleven" is a first-time publishing effort, led by Ariana Lallone and Olivier Wevers, is remarkable in that its highly professional layout gives no clue to that fact.
The Work of Dance: labor, movement, and identity in the 1930s, by Mark Franko.
Book Review by Toba Singer - January 2003
This is a book pitched to a remnant of the dance generation that was molded in the heat of those wars, as well as dance historians and certain academics. Others may find it difficult to comprehend.
Ballet and Opera in the Age of Giselle. By Marian Smith.
Book Review by S.E. Arnold - December 2002
Written in clear prose, supported by illustrations, musical examples, and comparative tables, Smith re-creates a vivid picture of the Paris Opera in the early 19th century.
My Top Twenty Dance Books
By Dina McDermott - 2000
These are my personal favorites – collated after many years of reading and collecting. If it has an asterisk next to it – that means it's out of print.