CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  Azlan [ Wed May 17, 2000 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Here is a compilation BY TRINA. NOTE: a new website section will be created for this list, which we hope to add to, over time:<P><BR> Image >>>TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List<P><BR>These are my personal favorites--collated after many years of reading and collecting. If you have any suggestions, by all means contact me!!<P>I am perfectly willing to make additions/subtractions! If it has an asterisk next to it - that means it's out-of-print.<P>Out of print books can be found in college libraries, secondhand bookstores, flea markets, etc. For books that are not "out of print", simply click onto <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> to get more info. on the book, as far as ordering, cost, publisher, etc.<BR> <P>>>>DANCE TEACHING<P>-Creative Dance for All Ages, by Ann Green Gilbert. Founder of Kaleidescope, a children's professional modern dance company based in Seattle, this book is an excellent intro. to her philosophy of teaching dance through "concepts" rather than steps or techniques. In addition to lesson plans, even has musical suggestions!<P>- Gretchen Ward Warren's book/s (SEE POSTS BELOW BY GRACE, PLEASE.) Highly recommended to me, although I've only "browsed" through myself. Check it out...good ballet teaching books are very difficult to find...I know because I've read a lot of them, and find many of them impractical.<P>-*The Dance Technique of Jose Limon, by Daniel Lewis. A good, illustrated guide to Limon technique, with good background info. <P><BR>>>>ESSAYS, BIOGRAPHIES & REVIEW COLLECTIONS<P>-Balanchine, by Bernard Taper. The best, most thorough biography of this major ballet figure.<P>-Days on Earth, The life of Doris Humphrey, by Marcia Siegel. A 'must read" for anyone intersted in early modern dance history. Marica Siegel is one of the best dance writers around...she makes this an unforgettable story of a truly courageous person and artist.<P>-Alvin Ailey, A Life in Dance, by Jennifer Dunning. From a poor, rural childhood in Texas to the very pinnacle of the dance world, this mazing story of this troubled giant of modern dance is told by the NY Times dance critic J. Dunning.<P>-Once a Dancer, by Allegra Kent. What a life..prima ballerina under Balanchine by age 16, mother of 3 by age 23, penniless by age 50...this is the incredible story of a true artist and survivor.<P>-American Indian Ballerinas, by Lilli C. Livingston. Tells the tale of the famous 4 Native American ballerinas, all from Oklahoma-Maria and Marjorie Tallchief (sisters), Rosella Hightower, and Yvonne Chouteau.<P>-How to Dance Forever, Surving Against the Odds, by Daniel Nagrin. One of the few career "how to" books, this books is both a biography (Nagrin was an early pioneer in modern dance, along with doing important work in jazz and on Broadway)and contains practical advice on health, injuries, career questions and philosophical/spiritual issues.<P>-Afterimages, by Arlene Croce. A top dance critic gathers her reviews from the 60's and 70's into a very entertaining collection.<P>Jazz, Ethnic and World Dance; Special Topics and Reference<P>-*Unsung Genius, The Life of Jack Cole, by Glen Loney. An excellent story of this famous figure in jazz dance, who started his career in modern dance and landed up in Hollywood!<P>-Dance: Rituals of Experience, by Jamake Highwater. This book generally covers world dance, but more specifically covers the relationship between dance and world cultures, incorporating myth, storytelling, ritual and spirituality. Very interesting and thougth provoking, especially for those intersted in anthropolgy, history, religion or psychology.<P>-Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet, 3rd Ed (I think) by Gail Grant. Excellent reference which covers all ballet terminology and steps. Some illustrations.<P><BR>>>>GENERAL DANCE HISTORY including BALLET<P>-Ballet and Modern Dance, by Jack Anderson. An overview of dance history (mostly Western) since the Renaissance. Good pictures. Not "heavy" reading, this book is often used as a intro. dance text in college courses.<P>-History of the Dance in Art and Education, by Richard Kraus and Sarah <BR>Hilsendager. This book is the third edition, I'm not sure. Similar to above book, but goes back to pre-literate cultures and also covers non-Western dance, I believe.<P><BR>>>>HISTORY: MODERN AND POST-MODERN DANCE<P>-The Vision of Modern Dance-Jean Morrison Brown, editor. A compendium of essays by the great pioneers of early U.S. (and European) modern dance-Duncan, Graham, Humphrey and others. Expressed in their own words, this book expresses the aesthetic range and richness of these early artist.<P>-*Complete Guide to Modern Dance,by Don McDonagh. An exhaustive, yet entertaining compendium of modern dance choreographers, a brief bio of each one, and a chronological list of their works. Excellent reference book.<P>-Terpsichore in Sneakers, by Sally Banes. A very readable history of post-modern dance and dancers by an eminent expert in that area.<P>-*Further Steps, by Connie Kreemer. Similar to the "Vision of Modern Dance", but this book features interviews with contemporary post-modern choreographers. Very in-depth and readable.<P>-Pina Bausch and the Wuppertal Dance Theatre, by Norbert Servos. May only be available in Europe, this book is a real "find". It is an in-depth account of Germany's mother of "tanztheatre", a new form which arose in Germany and is popular throughout Europe. This features massive sets, singing, improv. In other words, it combines many theatrical elements into a powerful experience. Excellent photos. <P><BR>>>>P.S. I acknowledge that these books are from the perspective of the United States. I'm sure that there are many good books available abroad and also in other languges. Most of the above books, if you can't find them in local bookstores, you can find them through <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited June 02, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Fri May 19, 2000 3:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

great trina! Image on behalf of the readers, can i say THANKS for all your work, and i hope it provokes members to offer up their own thoughts about the very best books they have read and referred to - the 'indispensables', as i believe you called them. <P>well done! and glad you found your way happily out of 'recital-land'! Image

Author:  Bea [ Mon May 29, 2000 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Some of those books will make for great summer reading. Another great dance book is The Pointe Book, but the author escapes me for the moment.<P>Bea: there are 2 with similar title: one is out-of-print. can you check the author?<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited June 02, 2000).]

Author:  trina [ Tue May 30, 2000 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Bea-I'm so tickled that you found "the list". Thanks for the suggestion about "The Pointe Book"...I should check that out. I'm do teach pointe myself, and am always looking for good reference books for students who want to do extra reading outside of class to supplement their technque. Are you a student yourself?..I remember reading another one of your posts in another forum...I think you said that you "enjoyed ballet and modern"...what kind/style of modern are you studying?

Author:  Bea [ Tue May 30, 2000 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

The Pointe book will be an asset to you, trina. It has several sample classes for many different levels. Yes, I'm a student. I take ballet, modern, and jazz. We do a lot Graham in class as well as my teacher's choreography.

Author:  Intuviel [ Wed May 31, 2000 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

I don't know if Advice for Dancers counts as a dance book, but it is certainly informative. <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <BR> Image <P>Suki Schorer's new book outlines the Balanchine technique rather well. <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <BR> Image (images added by grace)<P><BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited June 02, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Wed May 31, 2000 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Intuviel, what's in that 'Advice for Dancers' book - i don't think i'm familiar with THAT one?

Author:  Maggie [ Thu Jun 01, 2000 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

There are so many books that are so wonderful. I'd like to add one I just recently read called "The Art of Teaching Ballet, Ten Twentieth-Century Masters" by Gretchen Ward Warren.<BR>I really enjoyed this book, and wish an earlier volume had been written like this one about teachers that are no longer with us. Ms. Warren sat in on classes and interviewed teachers The author lamented this, and wish that this had been done also.<BR>The author is also wrote "Classical Ballet Technique."<BR>A couple of teachers included in this book are Christine Vaussard, and (for Grace) Janina Cunovas, and Anne Wooliams.<BR>Older books that are interesting, probably from that American point of view are the books by Agnes DeMille. All of her older ones, and of course, the last (I believe) "Martha" about Martha Graham. Trina, have you read that one? What did you think? <p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited June 01, 2000).]

Author:  Intuviel [ Thu Jun 01, 2000 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Advice for Dancers: Emotional Counsel and Practical Strategies is by Linda Hamilton, Ph.D. She has a column in Dance Magazine wherein she answers dancers' questions, and in her book, she talks about<P>Accepting the Dancer You Are<P>Teaching Practices: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly<P>Focusing on Body shape and Appearance<P>Your Relationships: Friends or Foes?<P>So You Want to Be a Professional<P>Performing At Your Peak<P>The Mind-Body Connection: Injuries and Your Health<P>Is There Life After Dance?<P>It's published by Jossey-Bass, and I recommend it for just about anyone who dances (or danced). <P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>

Author:  grace [ Thu Jun 01, 2000 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

maggie: what excellent taste you have! Image <P>i too recommended the warren books to trina, but i guess she got the two of them sort of mixed-together. i'll put the proper titles up a bit later, when i have a spare minute.<P>THESE BOOKS BY GRETCHEN WARD WARREN CAN'T BE RECOMMENDED HIGHLY ENOUGH! no ballet teacher should be without them. Intuviel, i trust you have at least the one pictured? if not, make haste!! you won't be sorry. <P>btw, both are available from <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> -at quite reasonable prices.<P>i can add that i have met warren, in australia, when she came to teach at West Australian Academy of Performing Arts for three months, and then returned a year later. i organised a teachers workshop with her, so as to share her knowledge with ballet teachers in perth. she's a lovely kind person, and her work speaks for itself.<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited June 02, 2000).]

Author:  Intuviel [ Fri Jun 02, 2000 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Grace, I have all three Image, as well as several books on the subject by Joan Lawson. <P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>

Author:  grace [ Fri Jun 02, 2000 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

"three"? seriously, intuviel: has she come out with a new one i've missed?<P>1. "the picture book" - the pics of ABT stars in this encyclopedia of ballet steps ARE fabulous, but there is HUGE value also in the text, especially for teachers: <BR>"CLASSICAL BALLET TECHNIQUE", published 1989 by the University of South Florida Press, almost 400 pages, large format, available in hard cover and paperback. amazingly good value at - less than half the price we pay in australia (where's my commission?) <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><BR>95888/sr=2-2/103-1857762-1863800</A><P> Image <BR>2. "THE ART OF TEACHING BALLET: Ten Twentieth Century Masters", 1996, University Press of Florida. Interview-based in-depth profiles, including class observation notes, of Besobrasova, Christensen, Cunovas, Taub-Darvash, Howard, Long, Sklyanskaya, Ursuliak, Vaussard, Woolliams - an innovative addition to ballet teaching literature. Thought-provoking stimulation for all teachers. (AND **SO** CHEAP - again, compared to australia!!) <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><BR>17114/ref=sim_books/103-1857762-1863800</A> <P>READERS: if you're serious about ballet, you CAN'T be without these books.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited June 02, 2000).]

Author:  Intuviel [ Fri Jun 02, 2000 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Whoops! I meant I have both of them. Sorry~~I must have been thinking about the Lawson books Image!<P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Balletica</A><BR>

Author:  grace [ Fri Jun 02, 2000 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

hi intuviel: we must be online at the same time - although i certainly SHOULD get OFF!!<P>i'm glad i haven't missed one of warren's books - but sorry there isn't another!<P>aren't they just a joy - a joy to behold, in th ecase of the first one (with all those impressive photos). they have one of two effects on ballet students: inspiration, or instant depression - often BOTH!! Image

Author:  trina [ Sun Jun 04, 2000 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TOP TWENTY DANCE BOOKS-A Subjective List

Maggie-yes, I've skimmed (havent't gotten around to buying it yet) that book "Twentienth Century Masters". --ballet teachers....very good. also, the martha Grahma books-I've read:<BR>1. the one by Don McDonagh, can't remember the exact title.<BR>2. the one by Agnes de Mille.<BR>3 Her autobiography, which interestingly, I found the least revealing and informative of all three! I couldn't decide which one to recommend for the booklist, so I left them out altogther.How's that for being indecisive? (heehee)

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