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Robert Gottlieb, Reading Dancean anthology of dance writing


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#1 bart

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 05:40 AM

My local paper's book section has a brief notice today:

Reading Dance, edited by Robert Gottlieb (Knopf). A massive -- nearly 1,400 pages -- anthology of the best writing on the most physically demanding of the fine arts. (November)]

Does anyone have any additional information?

#2 rg

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 05:51 AM

Gottlieb, who has previously compiled a book of writings on Jazz, has been working on the compilation of dance writings for some time now. i understand galleys for this book are already out, so it's on its way.
i think it covers a wide span of dance writings in English (or translated into English). i'm not sure on the dates of the earliest writings but the latest ones will be rather recent.
as i understand the scheme, it's to include more essay-styled writings and not (daily) review-styled articles. i know when keith money was interested in borrowing a scan of a pavlova photo from me, he learned that there are to be no illustrations in the book.

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:30 AM

An excerpt of the article I wrote in 1997 on Agon (the section on the pas de deux) is in this anthology.

#4 canbelto

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:46 AM

Yay I can't wait. I hope Gottlieb includes some of his own writings.

#5 Dale

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:46 AM

Thank you Bart for alerting us to this. I'll be doing a preview of the book in the coming weeks on DanceView Times. I would urge anybody interested in this to pre-order it from Amazon - it's now listed for $29.70 instead of the $45 on-sale price. And let me say, having seen a preview copy, it's totally worth it. In fact, I've ordered a real copy myself. The book is amazing! It's broken down by subject. Each subject has anywhere from 5-20 articles. For example, "Ashton" has about five articles, followed by "Ashton Ballets" with another 5 or so articles, Balanchine, Balanchine Ballets, Lost Balanchine Ballets etc... There's a section with first persons, a section for critics, another for random essays, Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and Farrell get their own sections. So does Sleeping Beauty. It will be a book I see myself revisiting often, even if I've read those pieces before or have them in other collections (like the Croce). I'm very proud that BTers Leigh's wonderful piece on Agon is excerpted and rg has several profiles in the book. There's even some recipes from Tanquil LeClerq's cookbook. It will be published November 4.

#6 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:17 AM

wow! thanks!

#7 Dale

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:42 AM

Oops, forgot to add the link:

http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/037542122X

#8 bart

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 01:39 PM

Thanks, Dale. I was happy to see that the book qualifies for Free Shipping. Looking forward to your preview.

Leigh, regarding the Agon piece: Shortly after joining Ballet Talk I came upon a collection of your writings which references the Ballet Review article "Four Decades of Agon." Reading these pieces played a big role in re-igniting my fascination with/ passion for/ and deep respect for the art of ballet. I owe you a great deal.

I gather that the Agon piece has not been re-published and is not available on-line or elsewhere, so I look forward to finding at least part of it in the Gottlieb anthology.

In the meantime, for Ballet Talk members who may not have seen them previously, here's a link to other pieces that are on line. (I hope it's okay to post it. Please delete if it is not.)

http://members.aol.c...tchel/dance.htm

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 02:07 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I'd just like people to realize if they go to read those pieces that they are more than a decade old. It was strange enough to read the Agon article as part of this process - it was written around that time and frankly though the subject is important and it's long I don't consider it an example of my best writing. It was one of the first articles I ever wrote and I've done better since.

#10 Helene

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 08:50 PM

Just a note, if you're ordering from amazon from Ballet Talk so that our site earns the commission,

If you don't order via the search box next to our logo or from the Ballet Talk Amazon Mini-Store from the top toolbar, Ballet Talk will not get a commission on the sale.

Creating a link after using the search box and posting it here does not persist the ID that attributes the purchase to Ballet Talk.


We do earn commission through amazon Marketplace sellers ("Buy new and used from $..."), from sign-ups for amazon.prime, and for the new "Video on Demand" feature.

#11 bart

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 07:18 AM

Just a note, if you're ordering from amazon from Ballet Talk so that our site earns the commission,

If you don't order via the search box next to our logo or from the Ballet Talk Amazon Mini-Store from the top toolbar, Ballet Talk will not get a commission on the sale.

Creating a link after using the search box and posting it here does not persist the ID that attributes the purchase to Ballet Talk.


We do earn commission through amazon Marketplace sellers ("Buy new and used from $..."), from sign-ups for amazon.prime, and for the new "Video on Demand" feature.

Thanks, Helene, for the reminder.

My pre-ordered copy -- to be shipped Nov. 10 -- was $29.70 (as Dale posted), discounted from a list price of $45. There was a note that I would be charged less if they subsequently decided to reduce this price even further. So, the consumer benefits as well as Ballet Talk. :excl:

#12 Dale

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 07:22 AM

Sorry Helene. Yes, people should do a search for "Robert Gottlieb" and "Reading Dance" in the Amazon search engine at the top of the page.

#13 Phaedra392

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 01:24 PM

This is wonderful news! Thank you!

#14 bart

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 01:22 PM

My copy just arrived 30 minutes ago from Amazon. 1330 pages! Feels like it weights 5 pounds. Definitely not something to slip into your pocket before heading out the door for an afternoon in the park.

A quick glance reveals amazing stuff -- real surprises -- a labor of love which could not be done on this level without someone with Gottlieb's vast literary and dance experience.

I would love to know about the choice of photograph for the front cover: a very young, bare-foot Martha Graham. And, on the back cover, a wonderful bare-chested Baryshnikov. (There are no other photos except for a small profile of Gottlieb with the author bio. This is a book packed with text -- incredible text.)

I opened the book randomly at page 800 and discovered an interview with Antoinette Sibley discussing her early days at the Royal Ballet.

Swan Lake I found very hard to get to grips with because I had a confusion: the kind of Swan Lake I adored was not the kind that suited me. What I loved was the very opulent, exaggerated Swan Lake -- Plisetska, back arched, legs up, crazy sort of things [ ...] Well now, I wasn't that kind of a dancer.

Great stuff. Has anyone else received their copy and perhaps gotten further into it than I have?

#15 garybruce

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 07:54 AM

My copy just arrived 30 minutes ago from Amazon. 1330 pages! Feels like it weights 5 pounds. Definitely not something to slip into your pocket before heading out the door for an afternoon in the park.

A quick glance reveals amazing stuff -- real surprises -- a labor of love which could not be done on this level without someone with Gottlieb's vast literary and dance experience.

...
Great stuff. Has anyone else received their copy and perhaps gotten further into it than I have?


I received my copy weeks ago and also find it a treasure trove of ballet writing, almost entirely from English and American writers. But I'm starting to find some oddities, like seeing only two reviews by Arlene Croce on Balanchine, both on relatively minor ballets (Mozartiana and Who Cares). Equally surprising were finding just ten pages on Nureyev and twenty pages on Fonteyn. But overall, this is a spectacular compendium of writing on ballet choreographers and their ballets, as well as ballet dancers over the past 100 years.


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