The final testament of a great creative artist, whose genius as a dancer and choreographer was well matched by her verbal gifts. In this volume, Walter Sorell, her longtime friend, brings together a rich selection of her writings: warm letters, poems, anecdotes of her early years, witty cartoons, essays on the art of dance, and on some of her own works. Included are her reminiscences of her first compositions and performances, of the dancers who flocked to her company and school at Dresden, and of her triumphant American tours in 1930–1933. The Mary Wigman Book was originally published by Wesleyan in 1973.
“Of utmost importance to anyone concerned with dance history”
—Jack Anderson, Dance Magazine
“Warmly recommended to anyone interested in dance.”
—Clive Barnes, New York Times
Olive Holmes, Ed.
A collection of reviews by eminent critic of the Boston Evening Transcript, H.T. P. [Henry Taylor Parker] (1967–1934), edited and with an introduction by former dancer Olive Holmes (1911–2003)—whose selection brings thirty years of dance to life. Includes reviews on many important dance figures like Ruth St. Denis and Isadora Duncan, forming a unique record of the period of the American discovery of dance.
A unique record of the work of the Denishawn Dance Company. A member of Denishawn from 1925–1928, Jane Sherman gives us a firsthand look at the many works of art the company produced. This gathering of memory, notes, files, pictures, etc. is like none other. It was the first and only record of some of the dances that Denishawn performed. Records of important figures of modern dance exist in these pages, making this a vital piece of dance history.
An account of the author’s travels during her 15 month tour of the Far East with Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, and the Denishawn Dance Company along with Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Pauline Lawrence, among others. Contains letters and diary entries. In addition to providing a dance history narrative, this book accounts a vivid description of traveling in Japan, Burma, China, India, Ceylon, Java, Malaya, and the Philippines during the mid 1920s. Includes primary source letter, journals, and pictures to bring the history directly to the reader.
Mary Grace Swift
Charles-Louis Didelot (1767–1837) was a French balletmaster in the fullest sense of the word: an exacting teacher-director, whose many contributions included dancing en pointe and mime work; a highly imaginative choreographer, who often collaborated with his composers and even instructed the orchestra; an innovative scenographer, whose insistence on authenticity and realism in costuming and staging revolutionized the production of ballet. Above all, he was a perfectionist; and in Revolutionary Paris, in Regency London and in Imperial Petersburg Didelot single-mindedly pursued his career, ignoring royal imperatives and fighting court intrigues and theatrical politics to realize as fully as possible his larger vision of the dance.
Based upon extensive research in four languages, Mary Grace Swift’s book is the first biography in English of Didelot. It is a full, impressively documented account of his life and career, in which she brings vividly to life the artistic milieu in which Didelot flourished.
Mary Grace Swift entered the Ursuline Order in 1947 and was educated at Creighton University and Notre Dame University, in history and Russian studies. Swift taught at Loyola University. Her first book, The Art of Dance in the U.S.S.R., was published in 1968. A Loftier Flight was awarded the first de la Torre Bueno Prize for the best unpublished book-length manuscript in the field of dance, in 1973.
An indispensable addition to the history of dance, this biography of a great dancer, teacher, and choreographer is based on interviews, tapes, articles, and reviews concerned with her theories, personality, and associations. Her intellectual and artistic training in Germany, her partnership with Mary Wigman, her establishment of schools of the dance in New York and Colorado, and her choreography for opera and such musicals as My Fair Lady are set forth by a dance critic who is a contributing editor of Dance magazine. Appended are a chronology, a list of Holm’s essays, a list of her awards, and sources.”—Booklist
“[A] delicate and careful study of one of the modern-dance pioneers that very clearly sets her work and her ideas within the context of her life. You will learn a lot of the background of contemporary modern dance through this.”
—Clive Barnes, The New York Times
“It is good to have Hanya Holm rescued from the mysterious and invisible status of choreographer and brought into tangible focus both as a person and as a master and teacher of movement.” —John Martin
Known as one of the “big four” dance pioneers, Hanya Holm (born Johanna Eckert; 1893–1992) learned from, then worked with, Mary Wigman. Holm’s interest in patterns and spactial dimensions influenced future dancers including Alwin Nikolais.
Walter Sorell (1905–1997) was a prolific and respected dance writer and artist. Read his New York Times obituary.
Born Irma Dorette Henriette Erich-Grimme (1897–1977), in Hamburg, Germany, Irma was one of six young girls, later called the Isadorables, taken in by Isadora Duncan. All six girls took Duncan’s name legally. Thus was born: Irma Duncan.
Duncan Dancer, an Autobiography is a valuable resource, describing Irma's early career with Isadora Duncan and the Isadorables, through her time as a teacher taking students on tours to perform throughout the world.
Today, many of her letters, photographs, notebooks, programs, clippings from newspapers and magazines, and other materials form the Irma Duncan Collection, one of the most precious holdings of the New York Public Library’s Dance Division.
Born Karoline Sophie Marie Wiegmann (1886–1973) in Hanover, Germany, Mary Wigman was a founder of modern dance in Europe. She studied with Emile Jacques-Dalcroze and Rudolf von Laban. She is the author of two books published by Wesleyan University Press: The Language of Dance, translated by Walter Sorell (1966), and The Mary Wigman Book: Her Writings (1975).
Mary Wigman was one of the most celebrated dancer/choreographers of the modern era, and was an iconic figure in Weimar German culture. She was known for her incorporation of non-Western instrumentation and dance, as well as for pioneering work in dance therapy. In addition to documenting important cultural history, this autobiography demonstrates Wigman’s personal passion and her role in shaping the art form.
“This fascinating document is the autobiography of a creative imagination rather than an individual. In dealing with her past, Wigman has chosen to eschew all dates, names, and places, and instead of personal anecdotes she describes the state of mind that accompanied the birth of certain specific dances…Those who have seen Wigman dance will find reminders of her performances in the lovely photographic illustrations. All who read the book will find in it some rare revelations of the artistic process.”
—Joan Cass, Boston Herald
“It is a book to be warmly recommended to anyone interested in dance; a book that demands comparison with Doris Humphrey’s magnificent Art of Making Dances, as a personal document concerned with the raw material of dance.”
—Clive Barnes, The New York Times
“Miss Wigman writes with a passion and a richness of imagery which Walter Sorell’s translation captures very well…. The book is of the utmost importance to anyone concerned with dance history, and it also affords extraordinary insight into the operations of a remarkable creative mind.”
—Jack Anderson, Dance magazine