REACHING FOR DREAMS: A Ballet from Rehearsal to Opening Night by Susan Kuklin
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REACHING FOR DREAMS: A Ballet from Rehearsal to Opening Night

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This stunning book is a must for anywho who already enjoys dance, and should bring many others to appreciate the art of ballet. Kuklin has followed the construction of a ballet named ""Speeds,"" choreographed for the Alvin Alley troop by Jennifer Muller, with camera, tape recorder, and soul. Muller had performed the dance for years with her own troop, but now she and her dancers instruct the Alley troop in its movements, nuances and rhythms. Since the Ailey troop does mostly jazz-oriented pieces, they feel apprehensive, yet challenged by the modern dance involved. Through Kuklin's perception, always finely tuned to the personalities, we see the dancers work, strive and gradually become comfortable with each section of the work. We can hear the music and see the dance by the completion of this intense, involving book. Kuklin interviews the various dancers and pinpoints their individuality so that the reader feels a strong identification. The intense effort expended, the constant striving for improvement, much often with pain, the brutal drive of rehearsals, the technical difficulties from costuming to lighting are all justified by the transcendence of the performance. The reader truly feels art has been created. The photography, also by Kuklin, is a moving and splendid testimony to the dedication, the joy, the beauty of these dancers and their art. Not to be missed.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1987
ISBN: 0595170811
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard