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Through the Eyes of a Dancer: Selected Writings

Overview

Through the Eyes of a Dancer compiles the writings of noted dance critic and editor Wendy Perron. In pieces for The SoHo Weekly News, Village Voice, The New York Times, and Dance Magazine, Perron limns the larger aesthetic and theoretical shifts in the dance world since the 1960s. She surveys a wide range of styles and genres, from downtown experimental performance to ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House. In opinion pieces, interviews, reviews, brief memoirs, blog posts, and contemplations on the choreographic...

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Through the Eyes of a Dancer: Selected Writings

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Overview

Through the Eyes of a Dancer compiles the writings of noted dance critic and editor Wendy Perron. In pieces for The SoHo Weekly News, Village Voice, The New York Times, and Dance Magazine, Perron limns the larger aesthetic and theoretical shifts in the dance world since the 1960s. She surveys a wide range of styles and genres, from downtown experimental performance to ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House. In opinion pieces, interviews, reviews, brief memoirs, blog posts, and contemplations on the choreographic process, she gives readers an up-close, personalized look at dancing as an art form. Dancers, choreographers, teachers, college dance students—and anyone interested in the intersection between dance and journalism—will find Perron’s probing and insightful writings inspiring. Through the Eyes of a Dancer is a nuanced microcosm of dance’s recent globalization and modernization that also provides an opportunity for new dancers to look back on the traditions and styles that preceded their own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/09/2013
Former dancer and choreographer Perron’s pleasurably idiosyncratic approach to dance criticism is on display in this selection spanning the ’60s to the present from sources like SoHo Weekly News, Village Voice, and Dance Magazine. Perron takes readers into the avant-garde ‘’70s with Barbara Lloyd and the improvisation group Grand Union; a 1996 concert featuring “dancers near or over the age of sixty”; and an unlikely collaboration between Mikhail Baryshnikov and the experimental choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. Perron writes of her education at the Joffrey School and recalls working with Kenneth King and lifelong friend Sara Rudner. Writing about Martha Graham’s “theatrical fury,” Perron wonders of today’s talent, “what female choreographer will bring us that kind of vehemence?” She weighs in on the Japanese style of Butoh with important questions about cultural appropriation, and, in a sobering essay, discusses how the 1980s AIDS epidemic affected the dance community and how HIV-positive dancers are coping today. On a controversial note, Perron talks to ballerina Sarah Lane, Natalie Portman’s snubbed body double from the film Black Swan. In addition to dance, Perron covers street performers, Susan Sontag’s critical theory, and about spending time with J.D Salinger. Perron’s reviews describe the actions of performances so completely you will feel that you are witnessing them first-hand. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“ ‘Dance reaches every corner of me,’ Perron offers, and this is evident in her ability to capture and articulate her viewing experiences as informed by her life in the field…
Through the Eyes of a Dancer would be a smart addition to any dance history or criticism curriculum. It offers a rich resource for dancers and artists looking to draw on a female perspective of criticism during a particular era of dance exploration and evolution. Her consideration for the artist is undeniable. Her understood obligation to her audience is unmistakable.”
—Melanie Greene, DCA News

“Through the Eyes of a Dancer reaffirms that dance is a way of being in the world as much as a physical practice. Like good dance, Perron’s accounts, insights, and questions resonate in the aftermath. What a gift that she wove her paths together so seamlessly, and that we have this provocative collection of musings.”
—Carolyn Merritt, Dance Chronicle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819574077
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Pages: 372
  • Sales rank: 360,223
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

WENDY PERRON is a former dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She was the editor in chief of Dance Magazine from 2004 to 2013, and is now an editor at large.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
I. THE SIXTIES
One Route from Ballet to Postmodern
II. THE SEVENTIES
Barbara Lloyd (Dilley)
Followable Dancing: Mary Overlie and David Gordon
People Improvisation: Grand Union
Consuming Determination: Lucinda Childs
Older Is Better
Exporting SoHo
Improvisation: The Man Who Gets Away with It—Radio Host James Irsay
Only an Illusion: On Street Performers
Starting from Nothing: Michael Moschen
Masters of Surprise—Mikhail Baryshnikov and Fred Astaire
Interview with Susan Sontag: On Writing, Art, Feminism, Life, and Death
Dumb Art: Beautiful but Not Too Bright
III. THE EIGHTIES
Bausch, Brecht, and Sex: Kontakthof by Pina Bausch
The Structure of Seduction
Book Review: The Intimate Act of Choreography
The Holes in Tin Quiz—Notes on My Duet
Containing Differences in Time—My Choreographic Process
Shoot for the Moon, but Don’t Aim Too Hard—On J.D. Salinger
IV. THE NINETIES
Beware the Egos of Critics
Trisha Brown on Tour
American Dance Guild Concert Review
Love Is the Crooked Thing: Paris Opéra Ballet
Book Review: Jill Johnston’s Marmalade Me Reissued
Looking Back on the “Embodiment of Ecstasy”—Sara Rudner
The Power of Stripping Down to Nothingness—The Butoh Diaspora
The New Russia: Sasha Pepelyaev’s Kinetic Theatre
V. FROM 2000 TO 2004
Seeing Balanchine, Watching Whelan
Merce at Martha@Mother—Richard Move
Moving, Joyfully and Carefully, into Old Age
An Improbable Pair on a Quest into the Past—Baryshnikov and Rainer
Katherine Dunham: One-Woman Revolution
Martha Clarke: Between Terror and Desire
Misha’s New Passion: Judson Dance Theater
Living with AIDS: Six Dancers Share Their Stories
Irina Loves Maxim—ABT’s Russian Couple
Twyla Tharp: Still Pushing the Boundaries
The Struggle of the Black Artist to Dance Freely
A Dance Turns Darker, Its Maker More American—Patricia Hoffbauer
Paying Heed to the Mysteries of Trisha Brown
East (Coast) Meets West (Coast): Eiko & Koma Collaborate with Anna Halprin
Bill T. Jones Searches for Beauty, and a New Home
Snip, Snip: Dance, Too, Needs Editing
Batsheva Dance Company: Naharin’s Virus
Kirov Classics Hit and Miss
Way Up High, Soaring, Floating, Diving, Dancing—Joanna Haigood
Russia Makes Room for Contemporary Dance
Wendy Whelan: The Edgy Ballerina
VI. FROM 2004 TO 2007
Tere O’Connor Dance
Lori Belilove and the Isadora Duncan Dance Company
Susan Marshall & Company
Stan Won’t Dance
Urban Bush Women
Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People
American Ballet Theatre
Book Review: Feelings Are Facts: A Life, by Yvonne Rainer
New York City Ballet: Winter Season 2007
Enchanted by Cuba
VII. FROM 2007 TO 2012
A Brave, Illuminating, Terrific New Book—Carolyn Brown on Cunningham and Cage
New York City Ballet: Winter Season 2008
New Works Festival: San Francisco Ballet
Akram Khan’s Bahok
Flamenco Master in Silence: Was Israel Galván Improvising?
Trey McIntyre Project
Pacific Northwest Ballet: All Tharp
Boston Ballet: Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes Centennial Celebration
Spoleto Festival (Festival dei 2Mondi)
The Forsythe Company: Decreation
Twyla’s New Musical Flies, But . . .
International Exposure—The Tel Aviv Festival
Lemi Ponifasio
Necessary Weather (revival)—Dana Reitz and Sara Rudner
Why Don’t Women Make Dances Like That Any More?
Blogging about the Process of Choreography—Ugh!
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Biennale de la Danse de Lyon
Ralph Lemon
Crystal Pite
Politeness: Is It Crucial to the Future of Ballet?
National Ballet of Canada
Is Appropriation the Same as Stealing and Why Is It Happening More Now?
Is There a Blackout on Black Swan’s Dancing?
Putting the Black Swan Blackout in Context
Can a Floor Give You Spiritual Energy? Ask Jared Grimes
Eiko & Koma: The Unnatural Side of Communing with Nature
Merce’s Other Legacy
A Debate on Snark
The Joffrey Ballet
Afterword
Credits
Index

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