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Dance to the Piper by Agnes de Mille
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Dance to the Piper

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Dance to the Piper by Agnes de Mille
Paperback $17.95
Nov 24, 2015 | ISBN 9781590179086

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Praise

“De Mille was a writer like her father and uncle and grandfather, and not only a writer of bodies in space. She wrote prose, too, and gorgeously, with tremendous and purposive contradiction, about her life as a dancer and choreographer. To my mind, Dance to the Piper is as good a book about dance as any book about cinema written by a director.” —Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire

“[A] finely written memoir, Dance to the Piper…was originally published in 1951. It’s a dry and self-deprecating bildungsroman that was, by her account, scratched out on napkins and envelopes while she was ‘doing a barre’ or tending to an infant.” —Harper’s

“Perhaps the best dancer ever to write and the best writer ever to dance.” —Janice Berman, Newsday

“Nobody can read this history of courage and belief in an ideal without understanding both dancing and human nature a little better. Indeed, I believe nobody can read this book without following it up with a salutation, ‘Bravo, Agnes de Mille!’ ” —Carl van Vechten

Dance to the Piper is rich in the vitality, honesty and humour which are de Mille’s professional characteristics; it gives excellently well-balanced judgements of the great dancers whom she has seen and worked with; and it also paints lively portraits of the courageous author herself.” —Lillian Browse, The Spectator

“Enhanced with traditional ballet as well as the modern school, she was associated with both, but she made her success in her own style of American modern. She writes with verve about all three schools, describes perspectively the inseparableness of dancer and dancing, the agonies of work and exhaustion, the personality of the true ballerina who must be cut off from the norm of social and sexual life.” —Kirkus Reviews

“One of the finest and most eloquent writers on dance the world has known” –Clive Barnes, Dance Magazine

“This memoir of her early life is chock full of wit, which comes through strongly in her observations of life on tour with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and her cutting character descriptions (she includes full chapters on greats such as Martha Graham and Anna Pavlova). At times snarky and sensitive, by the end of Dance to the Piper de Mille seems like someone you’d want in your corner—the kind of friend who’d crack you up backstage just before your next entrance.” —Chave Pearl Lansky, Dance Spirit

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