DANCE AS LIFE: A Season With American Ballet Theatre by Franklin Stevens

DANCE AS LIFE: A Season With American Ballet Theatre

Email this review


Stevens has combined his personal experiences as an aspiring dancer in the early Fifties with observations of the working life of members of American Ballet Theatre during the summer of 1974. He is at his best in dealing with his own experience: beginning with a lyrical description of a dancer's early training, he relates some amusing personal encounters with ballet notables Anthony Tudor and Margaret Craske. However, he lapses into an oversimplified capsule history of ballet which he fails to integrate with the rest of the book. When in the latter half he focuses on the ABT dancers--the rehearsal process, bits of their conversations, gossip about tyrannical choreographers, the pressures of an opening night--he sentimentalizes rather than plumbs his major themes: that the life of a ballet dancer consists of fierce competition and arduous labor shadowed by advancing age; and that because of enforced insularity a dance company operates like a family to give moral support. Lightweight.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row