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The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company Paperback – January 19, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Robert Joffrey took ballet from its lofty and often inaccessible perch and helped popularize it to a broad audience without once compromising the level of its art. His company was metamorphic, infusing its performances with both tradition and innovation, seriousness and wit, and highbrow and lowbrow, producing much of this century's most memorable dance. Anawalt's biography not only elegantly describes how the company developed but how it helped shape American dance. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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. Joffrey?choreographer, teacher and artistic director?also 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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (January 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226017559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226017556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
A fascinating, incredibly well-researched history of the Joffrey Ballet -- and its place in American dance. I myself had worked as an intern backstage there when I was younger, and I must say it really captured the company's spirit and the personalities of the major players, such as Mr. Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. Answalt has a knack for presenting the complexities of running a dance company in the US and for fairly examining the disputes between artists and board members that nearly destroyed the Joffrey. If I have any quibble at all, and it is small, it is that from time to time certain events are a little rushed and merit more detail. But that's a small problem, indeed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having lived through most of the history of the Joffrey and enjoying their years in NYC, I was please to read this comprehensive bio of the man and the company. Interestingly, I ordered it used for 30 cents and got a copy signed by the author - wworth every penny.
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