Mirrors & scrims : the life and afterlife of ballet /

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Main Author: Siegel, Marcia B
Format: Book
Published:Middletown, Conn. : Wesleyan University Press, c2010
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Review by Choice Review

One reads Siegel not as a "critic" of dance performance, but rather as an accomplished and respected scholar and writer on the subject. She offers historically situated, readable discourse on what she sees, what she knows, and what she suspects. This reviewer finds a grounded sensibility in her writing and has enjoyed all her work, this book included. Here one gets 30-plus years of reflection on her interactions with ballet. Although the book includes some essays on musical theater and other forms, most of the content concerns the work and still-dominant presence of Balanchine; the challenges choreographers and company directors face in holding on to the ephemeral nature of dance; authority, appropriation and authenticity; and the people who work to preserve that which vanishes as it is done. Running like a thread throughout are references to Le Sacre du Printemps, that first and perhaps most elusive work of modernism, and the legacy of Diaghilev. Siegel's comfort with her subject reveals itself in these articulate, critically aware, thoughtful reflections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. T. K. Hagood Florida International University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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