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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 5:01 am 
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In another thread a book about Martha Graham is mentioned. Which reminded me of a biography I read about her written by Agnes DeMille, entitled "Martha" - has anyone read it? What did you think of it?


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2002 10:31 pm 
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I've read all the bios of Martha (I THINK), and now I can't distinguish one from the other! Ha. I think the best one is still the first one I read, the one by Don McDonagh, simply "Martha Graham". The auto-b by Martha and the one by Ms. DeMille I remember as being both quite overly dramatic, generating more heat (ie, gossip) than light. The irony is that the auto-b by Martha contradicts some info from previous books....hmmmm. Who to believe? For instance, previous books claim that Martha's dad did not want her to dance, and she waited till he passed away to pursue dance professionally. In HER book, she says this is incorrect, that her father did think it was okay. Like I said...confusing.


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2002 12:40 pm 
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In another thread in another Forum LMCTech posted this and it was thought that it would be better in this thread.....<P>LMCTech posted:<P>I always love a new book.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>Still pictures tell the story in Baryshnikov biography <P>07/01/02<P>Wilma Salisbury <BR>Plain Dealer Dance Critic<P><BR>For a long time, people have begged Mikhail Baryshnikov to write his autobiography. But he has always declined. A dancer, not a writer, he prefers to express himself in movement rather than in words. <P>Still, he knows he has an extraordinary story to tell, and, in his view, the most objective way to tell it is through the medium of photography.<P>"Baryshnikov in Black and White" (Bloomsbury, $60) documents the great dancer's career from his first performance in America in 1974 to his latest explorations of postmodern dance.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.cleveland.com/artsandevents/plaindealer/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/entertainment/1025515879242490.xml" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2002 3:02 pm 
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Trina has asked me to remind everyone that back in May she posted in information about Baryshnikov's book. Here is the thread where you can see what she said:<P><A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/000967.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Baryshnikov's New Book</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2002 7:32 am 
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Here's another article about this same book.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Baryshnikov photos worth a thousand words <P>Dance/by Theodore Bale <BR>Friday, July 5, 2002<P><BR>It doesn't take long for a dance to disappear from one's short-term memory. Although the overall emotional quality of a striking performance seems without end, souvenir programs, postcards and coffee table books about dance always sell well to fans who wish they could hold on to every detail of a certain performance.<P><BR>Photographs, of course, are also crucial historical documents. Barbara Morgan's powerful images of Martha Graham's work, Baron Adolf de Meyer's documentation of Nijinsky's ``L'Apres-midi d'un faune'' and George Platt Lynes' elegant pictures of Ballet Caravan are perfect examples.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www2.bostonherald.com/entertainment/arts_culture/danc07052002.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2002 9:57 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I've read all the bios of Martha (I THINK), and now I can't distinguish one from the other! Ha. I think the best one is still the first one I read, the one by Don McDonagh, simply "Martha Graham". The auto-b by Martha and the one by Ms. DeMille I remember as being both quite overly dramatic, generating more heat (ie, gossip) than light...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>trina, I have to agree with you on Ms. de Mille's biography of Martha Graham - lots of drama and gossip! And it's in this book that she criticised a certain Mr. Protas too. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find McDonagh's book around. <P>But another Martha Graham biography I have read is "Deep Song: the Dance Story of Martha Graham" by Ernestine Stodelle. In my opinion, her writing style isn't too exciting but she does describe, in some detail, various Graham dances that haven't been seen in a while - <I>Episodes</I>, <I>Phaedra</I>, and the full-length <I>Clytemnestra</I>, just to name a few. Worth a flip-through, I think.<p>[This message has been edited by Malcolm Tay (edited July 07, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 9:30 am 
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I just finished rereading Gelsey Kirkland's autobiography followed by Margot Fonteyn's autobiography - talk about contrasts! ( I found GK's autobiography painfully sad, but other people I have chatted with seem to not have much sympathy for her ).<BR> Speaking of possible eating disorders however, I have the " Dancers Body Book" by Allegra Kent (1984) which seems to be dangerously out of date in terms of nutritional advice. The core advice is reasonable, but she quotes some of the dancers advice on diets, most of which are quite exteme. Is there a definitive, recent book out there for a safe effective dancer's diet? <P><P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 12:28 pm 
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Matthew - Gelsey also wrote a subsequent auto-biography that you might want to read if you have not already done so.<P>I, too, have read those books that you mention, and you are right Gelsey's book is really sad. It pains me to look at the pictures of her beautiful face and body and to think SHE saw it as un-beautiful, is sad indeed. Gelsey was a rare gem, a truly unforgettable dancer. No one who saw her dance, I dare to say, could ever forget the image of her transcendent grace.<P>Fonteyn's book was a delight - totally. But I am awaiting with great hope for a more definitive biography to be written.<P>As for a definitive, safe, and effective book on diet for dancers, I firmly believe that such advice should only come from a professional health care provider - a physican or nutritionist. Everyone's body/metabolism is different, as is the activity level.<P> There is a great deal of mis-information in books and online on this subject with many young dancers ready to try anything - it becomes quite dangerous. It feeds into the obsession that our society has with this subject. <P>So, when I am asked, and we make this a board policy in the description of the Students' Question Forum, to always refer such questions to the member's own health care provider.<P>There were some other discussions, as I recall, in previous threads on Gelsey's book. You might want to do a search (it's on the right hand side at the top of the board page) and see other comments people have made.<P>One of my favorite auto-biographies is Mathilde Kschessinskaya's "Dancing in St. Petersburg." Have you read that?


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 12:48 pm 
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Malcolm, wow, I havent' read that book of Ernestine Stodelle's, although I've heard of her, and met her, I think, many years ago. She taught Humphrey/Weidman techniqe out of her home studio in Connecticut, and would reconstruct a piece once in a great while. I think it rather curious that she wrote about Graham,(although I've heard this is an EXCELLENT book) because I think of her as strictly a H-W person, and that generation DID NOT mix techniques, with a few rare exceptions such as Glen Tetley, who I think danced with both Martha Graham and Hanya Holm. Though now of course we definetly do. I need to go back in my archives and read up on Ms. Stodelle to clarify her background.


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 12:56 pm 
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Yes, the Gelsey book is sad. But I'm trying to imagine the world without that book, vs. WITH the book. I think we are better off WITH it, rather than without; mainly as a cautionary tale. In other words "don't fall into these pitfalls". Regardless, Gelsey was a luminous dancer; I saw her in class, oddly enough, but never in performance. She was truly physically 'bionic' and a great artist, as no less than the great Anthony Tudor attested-she was one of his favorites. Some of the greatest artists were not the most balanced people, then again. Jackson Pollack, Van Gogh and Edward Allen Poe spring to mind. I am not advocating for anything here, merely sharing a thought.<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited July 07, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2002 10:35 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Malcolm, wow, I havent' read that book of Ernestine Stodelle's, although I've heard of her, and met her, I think, many years ago. She taught Humphrey/Weidman techniqe out of her home studio in Connecticut, and would reconstruct a piece once in a great while. I think it rather curious that she wrote about Graham,(although I've heard this is an EXCELLENT book) because I think of her as strictly a H-W person, and that generation DID NOT mix techniques, with a few rare exceptions such as Glen Tetley, who I think danced with both Martha Graham and Hanya Holm. Though now of course we definetly do. I need to go back in my archives and read up on Ms. Stodelle to clarify her background.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Hey trina, I too found it rather interesting that Stodelle would write a book on Graham, though not surprising that she wrote "The Dance Technique of Doris Humphrey and Its Creative Potential" -- another out-of-print gem, sigh. <P>As we all know, she was an early Humphrey-Weidman dancer for several years, a strong advocate of the Humphrey-Weidman technique, and instrumental in reconstructions of various Humphrey dances. (I believe she reconstructed <I>Air for the G String</I> for the Limon Company, though I could be wrong.) And as trina has pointed out, the early modern dancers very much trained in separate camps -- e.g. if you weren't a Graham dancer, you were a Humphrey-Weidman dancer; no straddling styles.<P>But I think it's been said that because Stodelle had been following the performances of Graham and her company pretty well (from the time Graham was in her dancing prime till the early 1980s, which was when the book was published), she was thus ideal for writing about Graham. And it helps that she gave more space to describing the dances than, say, talking about Graham's sexual appetite, or about Erick Hawkins' immaturity.<P>Of course, I could be mistaken Image <p>[This message has been edited by Malcolm Tay (edited July 08, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:02 am 
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Basheba, what is the title of Gelsey Kirkland's subsequent autobiography? Also the title of Fonteyn's?<BR>You know, reading Kirkland's (first) book as well as Allegra Kent's Once a Dancer, I found myself wondering how could these women possibly have so little confidence in themselves and their abilities? As a ballet lover who was cut from high school productions and would KILL for a little of their talent, it's truly imcomprehensible to me how these women, the best of the best, did not see themselves as such.


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 8:36 am 
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Gelsey's second autobiography is called "The Shape of Love."<P>Fonteyn's autobiography is: "Autobiography, Margot Fonteyn" Alfred A. Knopf publishers, 1976.


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2002 4:09 am 
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I have just finished reading Lord Berners: The Last Eccentric by Mark Amory. I’m a great lover of biographies, usually of people involved in the arts and Berners was certainly involved in the arts as he wrote both music and novels and also painted besides being a friend of an astonishing number of celebrities of the time. <P>Lord Berners wrote the music for four major ballets, first with Balanchine and Diaghilev and later with Frederick Ashton, Wedding Bouquet is perhaps the best known. Sadly he was never serious about his work and described his creations only as his “hobbies”. Berners inherited his title and a huge sum of money rather unexpectedly and gave himself up to a life of luxury and self-indulgence giving up on his promising career as a composer and from then on wrote mainly for his own pleasure.<P>Frederick Ashton was a good friend of Lord Berners and was a frequent guest at his country estate. In Ashton’s biography, Secret Muses, it states that Ashton declined marriage to his fabulously wealthy mistress, Alice von Hofmannsthal on the grounds that had he married her he would never have felt the compulsion to work any more. I can’t help wondering if he was thinking of how the acquisition of money had blighted his friend Berner’s creativity, perhaps he felt it was an example to avoid.<P>Margot Fonteyn gets several mentions in the book as the lover of Constant Lambert. Apparently they were frequent visitors together at Berners’s house. Fonteyn of course would never refer to her affair with Lambert, but it seems strange that when I checked the index in her autobiography, Lord Berners doesn’t get a single mention. Very odd.<BR> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Booklovers Only
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2002 4:46 am 
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I believe that in her book, Fonteyn adhered to a tradition of circumspection in her reportage rather than the 'tell all' methodology of the writer's of today.<P>Cassandra - thanks for mentioning this book you finished reading - I will have to look for it.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited July 23, 2002).]


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