Shadowplay: 2antony Tudor's Life in Dance

Donna Perlmutter, Author Viking Books $24.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-670-83937-7
In a ballet world rife with eccentricity, choreographer Tudor (1908-1987) shone. This first full-length biography of the creator of such modern classics as Jardin aux Lilas and Dark Elegies commits to print many of the spicy stories about the man born William John Cook that have long circulated in dance studios. Tudor was a Cockney Londoner who transformed himself into the ranking nobility of American ballet. And while his dances examine the emotional lives of ``ordinary'' people, he often left the psyches of his dancers in shambles. After assisting at the birth of 20th-century British ballet with Marie Rambert, Tudor joined the 1939 inaugural season of what was to become American Ballet Theatre in New York City--a rocky but persistent association. His remarkable and difficult love relationship with dancer Hugh Laing began in 1932 and lasted until his death in Laing's arms. Perlmutter, a dance critic for the Los Angeles Times , provides a serviceable account of Tudor's life, yet her 41 short chapters fail to illuminate the man behind the work. Bitchy ballet-company politics and Tudor's notorious verbal intimidation of his dancers take precedence over serious consideration of the masterworks that endure--precariously. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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