I enjoyed it. It’s not as comprehensive or as entertaining as Striking a Balance, true. In part this is because the subject matter has less surface glamour and more grit – the passing of the years, the challenge of finding work as stimulating and rewarding as the career dancers are forced to give up all too soon, when in most professions they would still be regarded as relatively youthful, the difficulty of sitting in the audience watching someone else dance your roles (and not always so well) and the joys and frustrations of teaching, coaching, and - more rarely - running a company.
I liked Desmond Kelly’s forthrightness. There is indeed an element of “You kids! Get off my lawn!” in what he and others had to say but that doesn’t mean all their observations are necessarily off the mark even when I didn’t agree. Kelly may not always think much of the younger set, but the interview makes clear that he devotes himself to them, and as a teacher he’s talking from the trenches, “pouring water through the sieve,” as Balanchine once wrote to Suzanne Farrell.
I especially enjoyed hearing from Donald MacLeary and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and Lynn Seymour tells it the way she sees it, as always. Also Merrill Ashley.
Thank you, Jane, for the heads-up about the book. I wouldn't have heard of it otherwise.