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Merce, Twyla,and the sixties

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There's a lovely, powerful article in the February 10 New Yorker (not online) titled "Dancing in the City," by Alma Guillermoprieto. It's apparently part of a book-length memoir to be published later this year. The author studied with Martha, Merce, and Twyla. She portrays them all incisively and lovingly captures the essence of the sixties dance scene. She is especially poignant in her realization that she was never going to be another Martha, and that "even Manhattan, the magical realm of my adventures, suddenly began to seem like an island under seige" (It was a time of rampant crime, when the social fabric seemed to be coming apart.)

I'd like to see regular dance criticism return to The New Yorker, but while waiting, this piece and the Farrell profile last month are wonderful consolations.

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It is a wonderful piece, a memoir originally written in Spanish that so well describes that period in modern dance in NYC and very touchingly conveys what it is like for a dancer who comes face to face with her limitations. In the end, she has wonderful memories.

I identified with her and her friends' arriving after the first intermission for NYCB performances and getting in for free. Did the same thing in those days myself, during college.

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