canbelto

Who needs a biography?

74 posts in this topic

After just re-watching my Ballet Russe DVD, I'm craving an Alexandra Danilova biography. I've read her own autobiography which was nice but think an objective well reseached biography is needed. So many of the younger female dancers recall her taking them under her wing, almost becoming a mother figure to them, yet we also know what a forceful strong personality she could be. I think she was a dancer who never knew how to be anything BUT a dancer. Every breath she took she breathed as a BALLERINA. A true creature of the theater. I think she was facinating.

Editing to add: I also agree that a Tanaquil LeClercq biography is overdue.

Share this post


Link to post
From time to time, talk of "the Balanchine book by Arlene Croce" surfaces on Ballet Talk, but we already know that's not a biography but a study of the ballets -- if it exists at all.

It does, cos I've got it!

And I vote for a biography of Nadia Nerina. Born in South Africa, trained with Marie Rambert and eventually invited as a guest artist to the Bolshoi, then to dissapear abruptly from the world of ballet - surely there's a fascinating story there?

Share this post


Link to post
It does, cos I've got it!

Ostrich I can't help but think that you and Farrell Fan are thinking of two different books. The one FF refers to is Arlene Croce On Balanchine, a book we have been waiting on since 2003, the year of the Balanchine Centennial. First the release date was pushed to 2004, then followed a series of setbacks on the release date. I emailed the publisher, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux at this time last year and was told to expect a release date of February 2007. Of course Feb. 2007 saw no new book (big surprise). So being the persistant little bugger that I am I emailed them again in August of this year. This time I got no reply at all. Perhaps they think I'm some sort of Arlene Croce stalker?

Share this post


Link to post

Speaking of Rambert, is there a bio of her?

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Perky. I didn't know how to respond to Ostrich, because I thought it might be a joke -- in the nature of cubanmiamiboy confessing to be the great Alicia Alonzo.

Share this post


Link to post

Hans, there is Rambert's marvelous "Quicksilver" but it's a memoir rather than a critical study. It's great reading, though.

Share this post


Link to post

Minkus, Delibes, and Adolphe Adam. The dearth of information in any language is hard to understand.

Share this post


Link to post

I can just imagine Mr. B's reaction to a huge, 600+ page biography about him. "My oh my. Just the events, dear."

Share this post


Link to post
Minkus, Delibes, and Adolphe Adam. The dearth of information in any language is hard to understand.

Yes!

Share this post


Link to post

I am surprised to hear that there is no biography of Delibes!

Share this post


Link to post

Mme. Alonso :bow: needs one:

Loved by millions in Cuba and abroad, and equally hated for her communist political afiliation. One of the few living Prima Ballerina Assolutas on earth, Balanchine's muse and Fidel Castro's close friend. Praised, venerated and equally bitterly criticized by the same dancers at the same time for her tiranic ballet managment. Responsible for elevating careers to the point of having cuban principals in all major world ballet companies, and accountable also for stoppping others from the rise. Internal scandals, major triumphs, and all this while being legally blind since her early twenties...Well, i think there is some material to work with right there...

Share this post


Link to post

I have two books on Pavlova not mentioned: The Flight of the Swan...A Memory of Pavlova by Andre Oliveroff as told to John Gill published in 1932; and Pavlova by Walford Hyden, Her Former Musical Director published in 1931. Neither of these books claim to be official biographies, but there is a lot of biographical material in them...

P.S...I am very excited to read about a Bruhn biography to come! He was, is, and will always be my idol...

Share this post


Link to post
Mme. Alonso needs one:

Loved by millions in Cuba and abroad, and equally hated for her communist political afiliation. One of the few living Prima Ballerina Assolutas on earth, Balanchine's muse and Fidel Castro's close friend. Praised, venerated and equally bitterly criticized by the same dancers at the same time for her tiranic ballet managment. Responsible for elevating careers to the point of having cuban principals in all major world ballet companies, and accountable also for stoppping others from the rise. Internal scandals, major triumphs, and all this while being legally blind since her early twenties...Well, i think there is some material to work with right there...

Wow Cristian, sounds like a project you should undertake! :dunno:

Has the Volkova biography been printed in English yet? If not, will it be?

Share this post


Link to post

yes to the volokova query - see (somwhere on BT) alexandra's alert to this book's recent publication.

Share this post


Link to post
yes to the volokova query - see (somwhere on BT) alexandra's alert to this book's recent publication.

Here it is.

Share this post


Link to post
yes to the volokova query - see (somwhere on BT) alexandra's alert to this book's recent publication.

Thank you.

Amazon UK has it as well.

Share this post


Link to post

I am reading "Ballet To The Corps", an autobio of Marie Pacquett, who danced with Joffrey and ABT in the 50's and 60's. It's a great read, and I hate to get to the end, so I try to read only a bit at a time....like savoring chocolate cake. And I also enjoyed reading "Ballet Is A Contact Sport".

Does anyone know of other books written from a corp member's perspective of the professional ballet career?

Share this post


Link to post

Winter Season by Toni Bentley is a memoir of life in the corps of NYCB. It's not an autobiography but is very evocative of place and time.

Share this post


Link to post

Winter Season is a good book. Bentley's style in places is a little overripe for me, but as you say GWTW it's an invaluable snapshot of the company in that time and place. I think you'd really like it, agnes.

Share this post


Link to post

Christopher d'Amboise wrote a memoir as well, but I don't remember what rank he was when he wrote it. It's more about SAB and company life than "I got this role" then "I danced that role".

Share this post


Link to post

Are there biographies of Maria Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, &c? How about Jules Perrot? Is there enough material to be able to write bios of these people?

Share this post


Link to post

Ivor Guest has written the definitive biography of Jules Perrot.

Share this post


Link to post

Jacques d'Amboise should write an autobiography. That could be a terrific book.

Merrill Ashley's Dancing for Balanchine has a good section on her time in the corps. Because she wasn't a prodigy she spent a little more time there than the Farrells or Kirklands and she has many interesting things to say about her climb up the ladder.

I'd like to see a bio of Nora Kaye.

Share this post


Link to post

A memoir/autobiography of the incomparable Vladimir Vasiliev would be fantastic.

Share this post


Link to post

While there's lots written about her, there's really no major, satisfactory biography of Maria Tallchief. Her own latest effort, with Larry Kaplan, selectively highlights certain details and passes over others.

Share this post


Link to post