About the Book
Working from the premise that dance history can be studied as it has been created in and through the bodies of dancers, Karen Eliot closely examines the lives and careers of five popular female dancers: Giovanna Baccelli, Adele Dumil tre, Tamara Karsavina, Moira Shearer, and Catherine Kerr. Notable dancers in European and Russian ballet and American modern dance genres, these women represent a historical cross section of performance, training, and technique. By elegantly guiding the reader through the Russian Revolution, stage fright and illness, liaisons with aristocracy, movie stardom, and dancing rivalries, "Dancing Lives" provides valuable insight into the culture in which each woman performed. Readers are introduced to each dancer's social and economic status, her education and training, and changing debates about dance and choreography. The resulting stories are packed with intimate personal details, keen descriptions of dance pedagogy and performance, and behind-the-curtain glimpses of popular dance trends.