THE DANCE IN MIND: Profiles and Reviews 1977-83 by Deborah Jowitt

THE DANCE IN MIND: Profiles and Reviews 1977-83

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Reviews and short profiles from The Village Voice--plus a somewhat longer 1974 retrospective on Jerome Robbins from The New York Times. Other big names are here too, if briefly: reviews of four Balanchine ballets (three of them revival/revisions); slightly gushy close-ups of modern-dance giants Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp; a glance or two at each of the major touring companies; and two glimpses of the Graham repertory circa 1977--with fierce praise for the historic choreography, distress over its current state of presentation. (""Barely enough candle power to light up the dance, let alone sear your eyeballs for good."") But Jowitt's primary energies go to the less famous, more experimental choreographers of the past three decades, those more likely to turn up at the Kitchen (a downtown Manhattan space for ""performance art"" in its multi-media forms) than at City Center. Many of these artists--among them Trisha Brown, Douglas Dunn, Kenneth King, Meredith Monk, Laura Dean--receive in-rehearsal profiles, some of them awfully chummy, as well as supportive reviews. Too often Jowitt's enthusiasm emerges with a kind of coterie swooniness. (On Sara Rudner: ""Me, I'm interested in whatever interests her."") And occasionally her moment-by-moment evocations of particular dances lapse into clichÉd imagery (lots of fire, fireworks, sparks, etc.) or stream-of-consciousness muttering in the Voice/Rolling Stone manner. (""Hey, lady, would you mind doing that again, I didn't quite catch your driiiiiiiift."") Still, while not in the same league with Arlene Croce for line-byline style, intellectual rigor, or essayistic power and authority, Jowitt's collection--which also includes a section on dance-traditions from abroad--will be a valuable source for those interested in the lively fringe-regions of modern dance.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1984
Publisher: Godine