Mirrors and Scrims: The Life and Afterlife of Ballet

Overview

In this stunning new collection of reviews and essays, dance critic Marcia B. Siegel grapples with both the floating identity of ballet and particular ballets, as well as the expanding environment of spectacle in which ballet competes for an audience. Drawn from a wide variety of published sources, these writings concentrate on canonical works of ballet and how the performances of these works have been changing in significant ways. The volume includes over one hundred pieces on a variety of ballet topics, from ...

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Mirrors and Scrims: The Life and Afterlife of Ballet

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Overview

In this stunning new collection of reviews and essays, dance critic Marcia B. Siegel grapples with both the floating identity of ballet and particular ballets, as well as the expanding environment of spectacle in which ballet competes for an audience. Drawn from a wide variety of published sources, these writings concentrate on canonical works of ballet and how the performances of these works have been changing in significant ways. The volume includes over one hundred pieces on a variety of ballet topics, from specific dances and dancers to companies and choreographers, ranging from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker to Nijinsky, Balanchine, Tharp, and Morris to the Bolshoi, the Joffrey, the Miami City Ballet, the Boston Ballet, and the New York City Ballet.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A noble collection of probing dance criticism."—Lisa Jo Sagolla, Back Stage magazine

“Her writings on Balanchine, especially her effort/shape analysis of his Serenade, and her remembrance of the dance critic and poet Edwin Denby are, by themselves, worth the price of the book—which, for me, is the best she’s published to date.” —Miday Aloff, Dance Magazine

“As a critic, Siegel excels not only for her exposition of the dances, but also for her insight into the implications carried by ballet's changing form. … Her reviews are intelligent and thoughtful, and she often muses on the future of the art, the idiosyncratic influences of its practitioners and the roles of the audience in shaping it Her reviews are easy to read and she deftly leads us by the hand, gesturing to salient elements of pivotal works that have evolved ballet in new and exciting ways.”—Peter DeVries, Dance International

"Siegel's comfort with her subject reveals itself in these articulate, critically aware, thoughtful reflections. Highly recommended." —T.K. Hagwood, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819569264
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 5/3/2010
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MARCIA B. SIEGEL is the author of six books, including Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance (2006), Days on Earth: The Dance of Doris Humphrey (1987), and the classic study The Shapes of Change: Images of American Dance (1979). She has been a resident faculty member at New York University and is an internationally known lecturer and workshop leader.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface ix

Introduction xi

1 Legends

The Rose and the Scimitar 1

Le Sacre Reconstructed 4

Afternoon of a Legend 6

Nijinsky's Crime against Grace 15

Nijinsky in Translation l7

When Ballet Leaped into Today 24

Dance Theatre of Harlem's Nijinska 27

Weddings 30

Because I Must 32

Balletomaniacs 37

Robert Joffrey, 1930-1988 39

The Hum of the Turbine, the Roar of the Crowd 41

2 Movable Classics

Farm Frolic 46

Bolshoi Wrap-up 47

Gabrioles at Dawn 50

Why We Need the Classics 53

Shazam! 57

Danes at the Met 59

200 Years of Geniality 61

Kitri's Caboodle 69

Kirov on Tour 72

Swamped 75

Swans under Glass 76

Kingdom of the Sweet 78

Everybody's Treat 89

Royal Ballet's Bayadère 91

Classic in Retrograde 93

Raymonda Redux 95

Beautification 57

Two Tales Retold 100

3 Postlude and Prelude

George Balanchine, 1904-1983 104

Edwin Denby, 1903-1983 111

Balanchine and Beyond 113

The Magic of Mr. B 115

Couples 118

Putting a Little Orange in Their Life 124

Ives and Robbins 131

Modern Dance versus Classical Ballet 134

Changing the Guards 136

Patricia McBride's Farewell 143

A Ballet's Best Friend 146

Tragic Tropes and Anti-tropes 153

Apollonian Ventures 155

Village of Dancers 157

Chris and Friends 159

4 Balanchine Diaspora

Mozart Violin Concerto 164

Cotillon 166

Fable in a Lucite Landscape 168

Miami City Ballet 175

Ur-texts 177

In Search of Repertory 179

Guarding the Legacy 182

Dances under Glass 186

Ballet, Big Time 190

Balanchine at Harvard 191

Links to a Legacy 193

Sparkle Plenty 196

Balanchinian Baubles 198

What Bodies Are For 200

Fateful Journeys 202

Decoding Balanchine 205

5 Ballet in Transit

Forsythe's Artifact 207

De Keersmaeker's Elena's Aria 209

Maguy Marin's Babel Babel 210

Forsythe and Marin 212

Tetley's La Ronde 214

Morris's Drink to Me 216

Strangers in the Palace 218

Too Brief a Fling 223

Resurfacing 225

Survival Skills 231

Planet of Cool 237

Mind Matters 238

Lovelyland 240

Building Blocks 242

Poets Lost and Found 244

Dancing Americanness 248

Evolution/Devolution 251

Dreaming and Remembrance 254

A Century in Brief 258

Enigma in the Middle 267

6 On With the Show

No Biz Like It 275

Post-ballet Performance 277

Jerome Robbins's Broadway 278

What They Did for Michael 280

Razzle 285

Center Stage 287

Billy Elliot 288

House on Hold 289

Crash Dancing 290

Braving the Elements 292

Hoop Tamer 296

Zaloomy Toons 297

Largely Bill Irwin 299

Clowns in Flight 301

Warm with Showers 303

Apple Pie 305

Multicult-The Show 307

Toes on Their Fingers and Drums in Their Heart 312

Tapstravaganza 314

Tap Meets Highbrow 317

Hearts on Fire, Feet on Ice 318

7 Riffs and Translations

Portable Traditions 323

Swan Migrations 325

Toe Frolic 326

Trockin' On 329

Decomposing Sugar Plums and Robot Mice 331

After-dinner Nuts 338

Nureyev's Cinderella 340

Grigorovich's The Golden Age 341

Anti-balletics 343

Yo, Jewels! 345

A Dream Awakes 347

See It Live 349

Waking Somewhere Else 351

Wayward Dancing 354

Private Domain 357

Mysterious Histories 360

Plain Folks' Tales 363

Reclaiming the Ordinary 366

Porno Retro Rite 370

Notes 379

Index 383

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