Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance

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9780201626070: Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance

Now for the first time, the life and work of Alvin Ailey, one of the most beloved figures in modern dance, is examined by a writer uniquely able to place him and his legacy in perspective. Jennifer Dunning, New York Times dance critic and reporter, brings her expertise, extensive research, and a compassionate intelligence to this larger-than-life personality, making Alvin Ailey not just a portrait of a man, but also of his time.Ailey's story is the stuff of legend. His ”Revelations,” one of the great American dance classics, is said to have been seen by more people than any other work in dance history. Yet the small-town-culture that is at the heart of his finest work was absorbed by a child growing up in devastating poverty, neglected by a loving but exhausted mother who raised him alone. Aware of his homosexuality from his teens, Ailey lived and worked in the unusually accepting world of the theater but sometimes hid his sexuality as if he had never left his conservative family and Southern church. An athlete in his youth and a member of a profession that idealizes physical perfection, Ailey abused his body with alcohol and, later, drugs. Surrounded by admiring friends, he felt alone. Yet against great odds, Ailey pulled the pieces of this life together to create a passionate mosaic of art and dance, giving birth to an indispensable institution that continues to play a joyous, vibrant role throughout the world. Dunning shows us how Ailey took the essence of his experiences whether from the driving rhythmic music that poured from the local Dew Drop Inn on hot Saturday nights, or the simple motion of men beating the water to drive back snakes during his baptism and translated them into masterpieces.Filled with stunning photographs and hundreds of interviews with those who knew him (including such stars of dance and theater as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Judith Jamison, Lena Horne, Katherine Dunham, Sidney Poitier, and Dustin Hoffman), Alvin Ailey is the story of a man who wove his life and his culture into his dance and into the fabric of America itself.

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Review:

The great African-American choreographer Alvin Ailey created breathtaking modern dances,which changed the boundaries of the art form, and founded a school and a dance company to maintain the tradition. In this sensitive but searing biography, Jennifer Dunning, a dance critic with the New York Times, reveals the terrible personal pain that Ailey hid from his public. The life of a dancer and choreographer makes enormous physical demands, and the kind of adulation Ailey received as a young man takes a toll on the spirit. Ailey, a manic depressive full of self-doubt, retreated to alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity for self-affirmation off the stage. He lived a life of awful self-destruction, and then died of AIDS-related causes at age 58. Dunning captures the greatness and the agony of Ailey's creative spirit.

About the Author:

A dance critic and reporter for theNew York Times, Jennifer Dunning has covered the dance world since the 1970s. She lives in New York City.

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Dunning, Jennifer
Editore: Da Capo Press
ISBN 10: 0201626071 ISBN 13: 9780201626070
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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0201626071 14. Codice libro della libreria 0S-S6N3-UVDC

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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0201626071

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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0201626071

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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97802016260701.0

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