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Through the Eyes of a Dancer: Selected Writings Hardcover – November 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former dancer and choreographer Perron's pleasurably idiosyncratic approach to dance criticism is on display in this selection spanning the '60s to the present from sources like SoHo Weekly News, Village Voice, and Dance Magazine. Perron takes readers into the avant-garde €˜'70s with Barbara Lloyd and the improvisation group Grand Union; a 1996 concert featuring dancers near or over the age of sixty; and an unlikely collaboration between Mikhail Baryshnikov and the experimental choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. Perron writes of her education at the Joffrey School and recalls working with Kenneth King and lifelong friend Sara Rudner. Writing about Martha Graham's theatrical fury, Perron wonders of today's talent, what female choreographer will bring us that kind of vehemence? She weighs in on the Japanese style of Butoh with important questions about cultural appropriation, and, in a sobering essay, discusses how the 1980s AIDS epidemic affected the dance community and how HIV-positive dancers are coping today. On a controversial note, Perron talks to ballerina Sarah Lane, Natalie Portman's snubbed body double from the film Black Swan. In addition to dance, Perron covers street performers, Susan Sontag's critical theory, and about spending time with J.D Salinger. Perron's reviews describe the actions of performances so completely you will feel that you are witnessing them first-hand. (Nov.)


“ ‘Dance reaches every corner of me,’ Perron offers, and this is evident in her ability to capture and articulate her viewing experiences as informed by her life in the field… Through the Eyes of a Dancer would be a smart addition to any dance history or criticism curriculum. It offers a rich resource for dancers and artists looking to draw on a female perspective of criticism during a particular era of dance exploration and evolution. Her consideration for the artist is undeniable. Her understood obligation to her audience is unmistakable.” ―Melanie Greene, DCA News

“Through the Eyes of a Dancer reaffirms that dance is a way of being in the world as much as a physical practice. Like good dance, Perron’s accounts, insights, and questions resonate in the aftermath. What a gift that she wove her paths together so seamlessly, and that we have this provocative collection of musings.” ―Carolyn Merritt, Dance Chronicle

“As someone who loves to dive into history and ideas, I am grateful to have Perron’s vivid, companionable guide. This is not, as you might have guessed, academic or theory-based criticism. She doesn’t try to cover all points of view, just writing her own thoughts in a voice that’s impassioned and articulate. There’s a lot packed into this volume, but with integrity, conviction and panache, she invites us to join the conversation.” ―Philip Szporer, The Dance Current

“Perron writes with kinesthetic appeal, making you feel like you’re seeing performances right there with her.” ―Rachel Rizzuto, Dance Teacher

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