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Wilde Times


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Does anyone know anything about this upcoming biography of Patricia Wilde? It's being released in a few days.

Don't know anything but am surprised to hear about a biography. Wilde was a long time principal dancer in NYCB back in the day, but I didn't think her name was known outside of the ballet world.

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It's by Joeb Lobenthal, a longtime dance writer who collaborated with Elena Tchernichova on her memoir, and who is dance associate editor of Ballet Review. He blogs as well. The Kindle sample is available now. Thanks, Margareta!

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It's by Joeb Lobenthal, a longtime dance writer who collaborated with Elena Tchernichova on her memoir, and who is dance associate editor of Ballet Review. He blogs as well. The Kindle sample is available now. Thanks, Margareta!

Lobenthal is on a roll. Not only Tchernicheva but, more recently, the bio of Kirov ballerina of the 50s/60s Alla Osipenko. Now this.

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I have read the first 100 pages and have learned much about Patricia Wilde, about whom I knew little. The major drawback is that much of the copious commentary and opinions about ballets and ballet dancers are not attributed. This leads me to believe that they are Lobenthal's opinions, not Wilde's. So far it seems as if I am reading approx. 35% about Wilde and 65% unattributed.

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I so anticipated the publication of Wilde's memoir. I was a little bit disappointed but I don't think it merits a two-star review on Amazon, maybe three - or three-and-a-quarter stars. The book's prose and Lobenthal's quotes by Wilde are oddly truncated, it is as if both Wilde and Lobenthal suddenly got cold feet. The book was advertised as a memoir by Wilde and "the rise of the New York City Ballet." Although I would have liked a history of NYC Ballet during the 1950s, I think this was the problem with the book. There is not enough commentary by Wilde (her comments or quotes should have been clarified or fleshed out) and the history is minimal. Apart from Wilde's comments about the Tanaquil Le Clercq/Balanchine relationship/marriage, there is no new information.

I am still grateful to have it.

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