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Different Drummer: The Life of Kenneth MacMillanNew Bio To Be Published September 2009

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#16 dirac


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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:16 PM

I have no interest in reading one commissioned by Deborah Macmillan, though.

Well, thatís a decision all prospective readers will have to make for themselves, of course. Iím definitely curious enough to read it, myself. New ballet bios are so thin on the ground. Looking forward to this one!

#17 Helene



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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:31 PM

I'm sure I'll read all about it here, though :)

#18 leonid17


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Posted 10 September 2009 - 02:53 AM

I'm sure I'll read all about it here, though :blushing:

On the "Dancing Times" website, there is a taster of what the book may be like, with Jann Parry outlining her approach to the subject.


#19 Mashinka


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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:51 AM

Under the unfortunate heading of "No more fairies", Clement Crisp describes MacMillan as "The man who modernised classical ballet" in the first review I've come across of this book published in the weekend Life & Arts supplement of the Financial Times.

What follows is a kind of prťcis of KM's life and difficulties already familiar to us through Thope's earlier biography but adding that this new book benefits from interviews with KM's wife and daughter. Everything Crisp writes is respectful and he gives us a clue as to his relationship with KM when he tells us he was instrumental in finding him psychiatric help after the critical mauling of Anastasia.

Crisp especially singles out the odious Judas Tree for praise referring to its 'complex and layered meanings about Christ, womankind and betrayal" whereas to me it simply left an extremely bad taste. I suppose that is what is meant when people refer to a diversity of opinions.

#20 Mashinka


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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:28 AM

Although Rupert Christiansen is basically an opera critic, I've often enjoyed his writings on dance much more than the other UK ballet critics. Here's what he has to say about the new biography in The Spectator and I wouldn't contradict a word of the following.

Some of his best ballets ó notably Song of the Earth, Requiem and Gloria ó confront the truth of mortality with a poetic lyricism that grows out of and into the music; some of his worst ó Different Drummer, for example, the adaptation of BŁchnerís Woyzeck after which Jann Parryís rivetting biography is aptly named ó seem invested with the B-picture sensibility of a bodice-ripping sado-masochist.

A link to the entire review


#21 Jane Simpson

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 04:29 AM

There's a very interesting interview with Jann Parry, by Ismene Brown, at the ArtsDesk today - among other things it knocks on the head the idea that there was a critical 'conspiracy' against MacMillan (at last!).

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