A Dance Against Time: The Triumphant Life of a Young Joffrey Artist

Diane Solway, Author, Tom Miller, Editor
Diane Solway, Author, Tom Miller, Editor Pocket Books $23 (386p) ISBN 978-0-671-78894-0
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Paperback - 386 pages - 978-0-671-78896-4
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``When we lose an artist, we're really losing two people: the person and the artist,'' writes journalist Solway, who skillfully demonstrates the significance of the double loss in this biography of Edward Stierle, a gifted Joffrey Ballet dancer and promising choreographer who died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 23. The book is no elegy but a gripping, unsentimental story of the impact of AIDS on an artist, his family and the dance community. Solway is in full command of the details of Stierle's short life, from his upbringing in Florida by conservative, loving parents to his dance training, sexual experimentation and ongoing quest for fulfillment in a demanding profession. She lets us see the pattern of Stierle's life clearly as a cruelly interrupted upward trajectory. This is also a portrait of a ballet company, with its rivalries, friendships and creative struggles, that offers candid glimpses of company founder Robert Joffrey and his collaborator, choreographer Gerald Arpino. The book should help readers understand not just the troubles of one dancer but the crises-medical, financial, artistic-that afflict a generation of dancers. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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