Through the Eyes of a Dancer: Selected Writings

Through the Eyes of a Dancer: Selected Writings

by Wendy Perron


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Through the Eyes of a Dancer: Selected Writings by Wendy Perron

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819574077
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 11/05/2013
Pages: 372
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
One Route from Ballet to Postmodern
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
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
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

What People are Saying About This

Elizabeth Zimmer

“Through the Eyes of a Dancer is an exciting, adventurous journey through the ‘dance boom’ and its aftermath. The average choreographer doesn’t have nearly her facility with language, and the average journalist lacks the inside understanding of the process; Perron combines these two perspectives masterfully.”

Liz Lerman

“What does it mean for the world of dance writing to gain insights into decades of performance through the eyes of a beautiful writer/dancer/choreographer? This is the beauty of Wendy Perron’s new book, a compendium of her work of almost half a century. Whether observing through the keenness of her ever-present mind, or the visceral capacity of her dancer self, her writing takes us into and onto the stages of many of our most interesting dance makers. Wendy weaves her own story of inquiry, both muscular and mental, and the memories which fill these pages are sweet, terrifying and real.”

Deborah Jowitt

“I’ve never read a collection like Perron’s engrossing Through the Eyes of a Dancer. She reviews and ponders four decades of developments and enduring values—both in dance and in the life of her performing-choreographing-writing self. Currently editor-in-chief of Dance Magazine, Perron displays an uncanny ability both to view art works from a distance and to burrow into their hearts.”

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