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Who needs a biography?A real one


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#61 Farrell Fan

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 07:22 PM

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



A couple of years ago at a NYCB guild seminar, he read from the autobiography he'd been working on. As I remember it was a very amusing anecdote about Lincoln Kirstein inviting Jacques and Carolyn to dinner and then disappearing. I agree that Jacques's autobiography would be great fun. I hope he's still working on it.

#62 dirac

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:30 AM

Thanks, Farrell Fan. I hope he's still working on it, too.

#63 bart

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:14 PM

Most of the formats we've been talking about -- biography, memoir, ghost-written memoir, etc. -- focus on the major figures but exclude the experiences, points of view, and contributions of those who are not so well known. If every star in the world had a biography, we would learn a lot about stars. How much, however, would we learn about the full complexity of the ballet world?

What about an oral history project focusing on less well-known participants, a kind of "history from the bottom up." An example would be a project devoted to NYCB during it's transition from City Center to Lincoln Center, or the effect on the company of Balanchine's illness and death. Similar topics could be devised for almost every major company in the world.

There are plenty of former students, corps members and behind-the-scenes people who might add tremendously to our knowledge of the period or the person, if given the chance to open up in front of a well-trained, well-prepared interviewer. The material gathered, organized, and conserved might teach us things about ballet we don't always think to ask about.

#64 sandik

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:58 PM

I agree. I guess I'm enough of a nerd that I want a hefty, scholarly bio of MT"s life and times (like we have for Robbins and Diaghilev).


And I'm such a greedy girl that I want them all -- the hefty and scholarly as well as the selective and gossipy!

#65 Neryssa

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 01:32 PM

I want more autobiographies from NYC ballet dancers (principals, soloists and corps) from all periods (when Balanchine was alive):

 

Patricia "Patty" McBride and Pat McBride

 

Arthur Mitchell

 

Karin von Aroldingen (perhaps an impossibility)

 

Violette Verdy (I remember a very thin biography decades ago)

 

Conrad Ludlow (perhaps like McBride, he is too nice and modest to consider the idea)

 

Best,

 

N.



#66 sandik

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 02:08 PM

Now what I want is more time to read all this stuff!



#67 kfw

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 02:22 PM

I want more autobiographies from NYC ballet dancers (principals, soloists and corps) from all periods (when Balanchine was alive):

 

So do I! As you may know, von Aroldingen wrote about cooking with Balanchine, and shared some of their recipes, in three separate issues of Ballet Review (Winter 2003, Spring and Summer 2004).



#68 dirac

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:06 PM

She sure did. I'd like to read a memoir of hers, although by me she could skimp on the food stuff, frankly. I know Balanchine was fond of cooking analogies but enough already. (Also, some of the recipes were annoyingly vague. What kind of spices, Karin? How much? Inexpert cooks need to know.) Ashton was devoted to his garden, but I don't imagine BR ever thought of having Alexander Grant write "Trimming the Topiaries for Fred," as potentially enlightening as such a piece might have been......

 

Thanks for pulling up this old thread, Neryssa. I would love to read a book from Verdy.



#69 jsmu

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 09:46 PM

I want more autobiographies from NYC ballet dancers (principals, soloists and corps) from all periods (when Balanchine was alive):

 

Patricia "Patty" McBride and Pat McBride

 

Arthur Mitchell

 

Karin von Aroldingen (perhaps an impossibility)

 

Violette Verdy (I remember a very thin biography decades ago)

 

Conrad Ludlow (perhaps like McBride, he is too nice and modest to consider the idea)

 

Best,

 

N.

 

Absolutely, Neryssa, to all those, especially Patty McBride and the indispensable Verdy

In addition to that, Diana Adams, as many people have said;

Melissa Hayden

Patricia Wilde

LeClercq of course though there are some books about her

Kyra Nichols!

Nadia Nerina, as said earlier

Svetlana Beriosova

Irina Kolpakova

...



#70 atm711

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 06:58 AM

A biography of Catherine Littlefield is long overdue flowers.gif



#71 sandik

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 09:22 AM

A biography of Catherine Littlefield is long overdue flowers.gif

 

Yes it is.  Several colleagues have worked on projects over the years that have dealt with Littlefield tangentially, but I don't know of anything that puts her in the center of her story.  And yet, she was a major player in the early life of ballet in the US.



#72 Fraildove

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 12:21 PM

1. Yuri Soloviev - what an incredibly talented dancers and such a tragic life. Would love to read more about him and what he went through.

2. Henry Danton - born in 1919 and still teaching and staging ballets at 96, his career has spanned through nearly the entire 20th century as well as nearly every continent. Although not as famous as many listed, he has worked with nearly everyone, in schools all over the world, and has such incredible stories and insight that I don't know if a single volume would do it justice.

#73 Amy

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 03:47 PM

Pierina Legnani - if anyone can find enough detail about both her life and career, it should be written into a book. In fact, I could probably do that if I get into the right situation to do so...

 

And of course, Petipa! Although I have heard that Professor Roland John Wiley is currently writing Petipa's biography, anybody here know anything about that?



#74 sandik

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:14 PM

2. Henry Danton - born in 1919 and still teaching and staging ballets at 96, his career has spanned through nearly the entire 20th century as well as nearly every continent. Although not as famous as many listed, he has worked with nearly everyone, in schools all over the world, and has such incredible stories and insight that I don't know if a single volume would do it justice.

 

His article in a recent issue of Ballet Review on staging the Sugar Plum Fairy variation was fascinating.




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