SHADOWPLAY

ANTONY TUDOR'S LIFE IN DANCE

Antony Tudor was born to a working-class family in London in 1908. By the time of his death in New York in 1987, he was universally recognized as one of the major forces in the development of modern American ballet. In the ballet world, he was equally recognized as one of the most emotionally manipulative, at times even cruel, of choreographers to work with. Perlmutter (dance critic for The Los Angeles Times) herein argues that this was the flip side of Tudor's contribution to dance: His fervent interest in intense emotion and human reaction was the cornerstone both of his ballets and of his working methods. She traces Tudor's development from his beginnings in London, where he was student, dancer, administrator, and general dogsbody with Marie Rambert's fledgling company. He emigrated to the US just before WW II at the invitation of what was then called simply Ballet Theatre (later, A.B.T.). Perlmutter describes the emotional backdrop for the creation of his ballets: Jardin Aux Lilas (1936), Pillar of Fire (1942), and Dark Elegies (1937) among the most enduring. Throughout, she stresses the impact of Tudor's lifelong, tangled, tempestuous relationship with dancer Hugh Laing (portrayed here as being wildly unstable), calling him Tudor's ``lover, his Doppelganger-Muse-Soulmate, the only one with whom he shared his innermost thoughts.'' And on the inevitable comparison to Balanchine, Perlmutter quotes Tudor himself: ``George concerns himself with motion and I concern myself with emotion.'' Other differences stand out: In spite of a long association with A.B.T. and its precursors, Tudor never found the kind of home, support, and financial backing that Balanchine did at the New York City Ballet. Certainly, it is the Balanchine style that is in vogue now. But to see a well-performed Tudor ballet is to realize anew the haunting impact and drama of his work. Perlmutter provides some real insights into the atmosphere in which Tudor's ballets were born.

Pub Date: July 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-670-83937-X

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1991

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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