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Edwin Denby was the most important and influential American dance critic of the 20th century. His reviews and essays--which he began writing in the late 1930s and continued to write for almost thirty years--were possessed of a voice, vision, and passion as compelling and inspiring as his subject. As dance critic, first for Modern Music and then for the New York Herald Trib ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published February 4th 2007 by University Press of Florida
(first published 1986)
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I have been accustomed to reading a review or two over dinner, but the library wants the book back and I'm not too attached to renew it a third time. pretty exemplary prose. tried to take a shot in that direction for an essay or two and it's certainly harder than it looks. I imagine it's due in part to the spirit of the author and denby's passion for what he was writing about--that is, not just dance, but the human element of it, the art. naturally, I concerned myself only with the stylistic con ...more
Almost everything Denby says about dancing translates to writing, or any of the arts involving humans, because he’s really less interested in this or that piece than in art as a kind of teaching of living. The Denby ethos includes clarity, sincerity, unpretentiousness, enjoyment, youth, unselfconsciousness, expression over perfection, and individuality within a collective of others allowed to develop as individuals. The fun of reading his reviews of performances over half a century gone is in th ...more
Denby is probably the most important American dance critic outside of John Martin in the 20th century. His writing on ballet are especially interesting but I hadn't read a lot of his reviews or musings on modern dance till this book. I liked the mix of poetry with the book, though if I was the editor I would have mixed the poetry within the reviews section to give the reading a change of pace every now and then. The writing on "The Nutcracker" is hilarious and therefore my favorite piece int he ...more