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John Curry Biography


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#1 Lynette H

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:57 AM

A biography of the skater John Curry is published on 31 July.

Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones.

There was a review in the Sunday Times, but it's behind a paywall. A sad story.

#2 sandik

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for the heads-up -- I'll look for the book at the end of the month.

 

I still remember the Faun that Tharp made for him.  One of the most compelling movement works ever, on any surface...



#3 Helene

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:31 AM

Is that different from Norman Maen's "Faun"?

 

 

I realize this is from the Daily Maul, but I'm not sure what the quality will be:

http://www.dailymail...arred-life.html



#4 sandik

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:24 AM

Oh dear, this is an example of why you shouldn't depend on your memory alone!

 

It's Tharp, and it's Curry, but it's not Debussy -- it's Albinoni’s Concerto for Trumpet in B flat.  After All



#5 dirac

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

Not a lot of new information for followers of Curry’s career, if the Daily Mail article is accurate. The bitterness was evident quite early on and not without reason – Curry had a tough time ascending to the peak of his sport and by the time it happened it was a bit late and didn’t give him much time to do what he really wanted to do. Added to that a troubled family background and personality issues and you got an extremely difficult and unpredictable boss inclined to take his frequent mood swings out on his skaters. Psychiatric help and possibly medication were probably in order but I don’t think he ever sought it seriously.

 

His Olympic LP remains marvelous to see, although it is very evidently skating from another era. Particularly touching because he looks so free and so happy to be out there, which is not always true of other footage I’ve seen. 

 

His attempts to impose the structure and ethos of a dance company on a skating troupe were interesting experiments. Possibly if Curry had had a better head for business his troupes might have survived longer than they did, but Iin the long run I don't think the formula would have worked out.  At least his skaters did get a taste of working with artists they probably never would have encountered save for Curry’s ambitions.

 

Peter Martins once did a witty little routine for Curry and Jo Jo Starbuck, "Tango-Tango," which is available on the old video of "Ice Dancing." 

 

Thanks for the heads-up about the book, Lynette. Should be interesting reading.



#6 GianninaM

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:54 AM

Both film clips are amazing!  Such grace, strength, control.



#7 Helene

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:21 PM

"After All" is a beautiful piece.

 

Two of the most prolific, influential, and eminent skating choreographers, Sarah Kawahara and Lori Nichol skated with Curry.  Ballet dancer/skaters like Foulkes performed with him, and aside from the guests like Hamill, the company members took on the challenge of performing elements in both directions and skating to an exacting standard.

 

Diana Adams', Margot Fonteyn's,and Yuri Soloviev's dancing looks like it's from another era, but like Curry's skating, displays the best virtues of their respective disciplines. 

 

According to the linked article, the book uses his letters as a source and/or quotes them, and these are newly released.  The arc of the story was scattered among sources available for those who cared enough to follow, with much reading between the lines.  I'm interest in seeing how they were used and, hopefully, in hearing his own voice in them.



#8 Drew

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:17 PM


 

Peter Martins once did a witty little routine for Curry and Jo Jo Starbuck, "Tango-Tango," which is available on the old video of "Ice Dancing." 

 

 

 

It's one of the pieces that I remember, if only a little, from his shows (I saw two of them)--I found it rather a highlight.



#9 dirac

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 05:30 PM

The arc of the story was scattered among sources available for those who cared enough to follow, with much reading between the lines.

 

 

There was an earlier book.  I don't think it was all that hard to know the general outlines of Curry's ( mostly sad) story, at least for skating fans who followed his career, but that's IMO.

 

Tango-Tango survived to make it into some of Curry's later shows.  I would have liked to have seen it live.  I tend to like Curry skating Curry best - I think the tape of his Olympic SP to Scheherazade, which he also performed in Ice Dancing and later, is extraordinary in its intensity, such beautiful skating. To this day I don't understand why other skaters bother using the music. (Unfortunately he chose to get an unflattering perm that year, in the belief that it would minimize his slenderness, and it makes him look kind of like Barbra in "A Star is Born," although at least he eschewed her peasant tops.)

 

I still have Keith Money's book somewhere, which has some nice photos of his British skating show. It was during the run of that show that he fell victim to that ghastly mugging. Curry had some awful luck......



#10 Bill Jones

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:54 AM

Hi....I hope you don't mind hearing from me. My name is Bill Jones. I'm the author of ALONE - THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF JOHN CURRY. I'm truly delighted (as he would have been) that members of the dance community have heard about the book. As you know, from the age of 7, all he wanted to do was dance. But for his father's intransigence he would have pursued his passion for ballet. Ice skating, and his brilliant subversion of an entire sport, was an act of revenge against that childhood slight. Work on the book has taken me three years, and I've spoken to well over 100 people to draw together the strands of his deeply complex personality, and his brilliant, creative life. Hopefully the result will inspire people, but it will sadden them too, as John's journey is a lonely, often unhappy one....from the fear of his own teenage sexuality to his death of AIDS, aged just 44, in 1994. Thankfully, I'm already getting some fantastic reviews (The Sunday T iMessage especially) but that only matters if people read it and remind themselves how original an innovative he actually was. All the very best. Bill Jones, North Yorkshire, England. PS The book is published in the USA in January 2015.

#11 Helene

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 10:47 AM

For those of us who won't wait that long, amazon.uk will ship to the US, amazon.com has third-party sellers (currently UK, France,and Florida) with offers, and, for those who prefer e-books, amazon.com is selling on Kindle, while taking pre-orders for physical book.

 

Curry's company performances at the Met in the '80's were among the greatest performances of anything I've ever seen.  I've gone the Kindle route and have started to read the book.



#12 Bill Jones

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:25 AM

Yes. That's right. Amazon will ship anywhere. Lots of folks are buying this in the USA already and getting shipped over. Enjoy.

#13 Helene

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:27 AM

The way he treated coaches was difficult enough, but the way he treated his company members was downright brutal. He and Jerome Robbins had much in common in that respect. 




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