"Sasha Anawalt transforms years of meticulous research into a cliffhanger of a history, a chronicle of homosexual passion, interlocking directorates, and internecine strife in the dance world. Steeped in the electric atmosphere of the '50s, '60s, and '70s, its every page drips with delicious dish."--Elizabeth Zimmer, Dance Editor, "The Village ...
"Sasha Anawalt transforms years of meticulous research into a cliffhanger of a history, a chronicle of homosexual passion, interlocking directorates, and internecine strife in the dance world. Steeped in the electric atmosphere of the '50s, '60s, and '70s, its every page drips with delicious dish."--Elizabeth Zimmer, Dance Editor, "The Village Voice." (Performing Arts)
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-08-26 Launched in New York City in 1952 by Robert Joffrey and his companion, Gerald Arpino, the Joffrey Ballet embodies an innovative approach that combines classical form with modern techniques. Its dancers, loaded with energy, have expanded the sphere of ballet as a popular American entertainment with works by Twyla Tharp, Arpino and with the multimedia rock ballet Astarte, which filtered the sexual revolution through myths of the ancient Babylonian fertility goddess. Joffreyśchoreographer, teacher and artistic directorśalso pioneered meticulous revivals of the 20th-century repertoire, such as Kurt Jooss's antiwar ballet, The Green Table, and Leonide Massine's Le Tricorne. After Joffrey's death in 1988 at the age of 59, the company faltered, and in its present incarnation as the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago it gains few grants and survives mostly on box-office revenue. In this sparkling, substantial chronicle, written with the cooperation of Arpino and other Joffrey stalwarts, dance critic Anawalt ably follows the troupe's continual metamorphoses. The Seattle-born, secretive Joffrey, who rebelled against his working-class immigrant parents (his father a devout Muslim from Afghanistan, his mother an Italian-born waitress), emerges as a gutsy entrepreneur who struggled against underfunding, homophobia and a hierarchical arts system. Photos. (Oct.)
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