Ballet and Modern Dance (Second Edition, Revised) (World of Art)

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Whether as performers or as spectators, more people enjoy dance today than ever before. Its extraordinary range extends from classical ballet and baroque court spectacles to avant-garde modern dance, tap, and ethnic dancing. Anyone with an interest in dance has felt the need for a guide to the art's rich history and complex present state. Susan Au's lucid text covers the entire spectrum of dance, vividly describing the great performers and performances of the past as well as exploring in detail the dance world of today. A generous selection of illustrations completes the picture, taking the reader from the palaces of the Medici to the lofts of Manhattan, from the dancing of Louis XIV to the experimental choreography of Twyla Tharp and Pina Bausch. A completely new final chapter documents the work of the chief dancers and choreographers from the 1980s to the present, covering offshoots of modern dance such as Tanztheater and Butoh, and recent developments such as performance art and site-specific choreography. The author discusses the upsurge in the popularity of dances of the past, among them ballroom dancing and the Argentine tango, and notes the revival of tap dancing as well as the successful adaptation of Irish stepdancing to the theater. In addition, she records the uses dance and dancers have made of recent technological advances, including cinedance and videodance, CD-ROMs, and the Internet. 145 illustrations and photographs (25 in color)

Product Details

  • Series: World of Art
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Second Edition, Revised edition (June 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500203520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500203521
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Customer Reviews

Great Book

 on February 7, 2010
By Felicia
This book is great. It is in good condition and it shipped in the allotted time given. The cost was cheaper than if I had bought it at my school’s bookstore, shipping costs inlcuded.

Choose this as a reliable text or source book.

7 people found this helpful.
 on June 20, 2001
By Libby Smigel
Susan Au’s history of ballet & modern dance is intelligent and authoritative. Where other narrative treatments often choose details seemingly randomly, Susan Au builds the narrative from the details she proffers. Nor does she lapse into odd anecdotes often found in other narrative treatments. This book corrects some errors that have been perpetuated in earlier encyclopedic volumes. I wish she had included a short section on antiquity, as I believe that some of the inspiration for and concepts in “classical” ballet and in early modern dance derive from the rediscovery of antiquity — but this is just quibbling. If you are going to teach 19th and 20th century Western dance history, this is a reliable way to go.

A good overview

8 people found this helpful.
 on November 13, 2000
By Markús Már Sigurðsson
I use this book in my ballet history course and it’s a very good book for that purpose, that is, for a basic overview on the history of dance. You won’t find many details on special subjects, such as specific ballets, but it’s great if you want to understand the developement of ballet through the ages and know something about the people who put their marks on the ballet. Lot’s of colour photgraphs. Au’s use of words is sometimes a bit complicated, at least for someone who doesn’t have English for a first language. But a great book.

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