Leaps in the Dark (Hardcover)
Art and the World
University Press of Florida, 9780813035703, 368pp.
Publication Date: May 15, 2011
Rediscover one of the greatest dance writers of the twentieth century
"Aloff, herself a fine writer and critic, has plucked the best of Agnes de Mille, one of the most vivid writers in dance, and made a bouquet of them that is as pungent as de Mille's writing."--Alexandra Tomalonis, editor ofDance View
"De Mille can be witty, wise, irascible, poignant. As editor, Aloff delivers her subject to the reader in full regalia, and the result is a remarkably scintillating volume."--Nancy Goldner, author of Balanchine Variations
"From a lifetime of writings, Mindy Aloff has assembled a book that is de Mille's autobiography but also a chronicle about art and the world during the twentieth century. De Mille shows us herself and America growing up, Pavlova dancing again, Kurt Weill composing, and World War II as it transpires."--George Jackson, dance critic
Agnes George de Mille (1905-1993) was one of the most popular choreographers of American theater and film in the twentieth century. She was also one of the greatest writers on dance in English, alongside Edwin Denby, Arlene Croce, and Alastair Macaulay.
De Mille published eleven books, a review of the London premiere of Balanchine's Prodigal Son, and a monograph ("Russian Journals"). Sadly, of these, only her biography of Martha Graham remains in print. Leaps in the Darkis a dazzling collection that reintroduces de Mille's astounding written legacy to a new generation of dance enthusiasts. Mindy Aloff's brief introductions provide just enough context to allow de Mille's brilliant portraits to shine all the brighter.
This anthology presents the Prodigal Sonreview in full, alongside excerpts from the monograph and eight of de Mille's ten books now out of print. The result is a beautifully crafted volume that highlights some of the most engaging, witty, and evocative dance writing ever penned.
Mindy Aloff teaches dance criticism and history at Barnard College. A past fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial and Woodrow Wilson Foundations, and a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, she is the author of Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance and Hippo in a Tutu: Dancing in Disney Animation.