In a collection of interviews first published in Dance Magazine and the New York Times , Gruen ( Close-up , etc.) shows his talent for coaxing dancerssometimes reproached for being less deft of tongue than of limbto speak their minds. In his startling interview with the late Antony Tudor, notorious for his reclusiveness, that seminal choreographer takes a diabolical pleasure in piercing the myths surrounding him. The incomparable late dancer Erik Bruhn grumbles, ``What people don't understand is that my so-called moodiness and my desire to be alone usually occur at times when I am in the process of replenishing myself as a human being.'' Modern-dance choreographer Mark Morris, hailed for his originality, notes: ``Often, my things look cliched. But cliches were all true at one time.'' Gruen himself tends to gush (dance is ``a field that more than any other offers contact with the unparalleled joys of human movement''), and some interviewees seem bent on self-justification, but in general the collection bears out its blithe claim that dancers ``are indeed people.'' Photos not seen by PW. (Nov . )
School Library Journal
YA-- This collection of biographical essays about dancers will be interesting to both dancers and fans of the dance. Beginning with the story of Patrick Bissell, who died of a drug overdose, the book goes on to include noteworthy if not famous dancers of the 1980s, young and older, ranging from modern and avant garde styles to ballet and including Nureyev and Cynthia Gregory. The writing style is journalistic, as most of the articles were previously published in Dance Magazine or the New York Times , and this contributes to the book's readability. Each chapter stands alone, and the list of biographees is imposing. Students investigating possible careers in dance will appreciate the honesty of the interviews; less motivated readers will come to respect both the dedication required of professional dancers and the extreme pressure to which they are subjected.-- Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Comprises interviews conducted over a period of some 15 years, from the mid-1970's up to the summer of 1987. All material that was originally printed elsewhere (Dance Magazine, NY Times) has been updated by the author. No index or bibliography. Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)