This book chronicles one hundred years of dramatic developments in ballet, modern, and experimental dance for stage and screen in Europe and North America. The volume is magisterial in scope, encompassing the history of theatrical dance from 1900 through 2000. Beginning with turn-of-the-century dancer-choreographers like Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Michel Fokine, and a bit later Vaslav Nijinsky, and proceeding through the profusion of dance styles performed today, the book provides an unparalleled view of dance in performance as it changed and grew in the twentieth century. Nancy Reynolds and Malcolm McCormick set dance in broader cultural and historical contexts, examine specific dance works, and explore the contributions of outstanding choreographers, performers, visual artists, impresarios, composers, critics, and other figures. They discuss the breakaway barefoot dance of the early 1900s and demonstrate its links with later forms and styles. With unusual detail, fascinating illustrations, and wide-ranging insights, this book is an indispensable guide to the transformations in the dance scene of the twentieth century."There is simply no other history of twentieth-century dance that is as detailed, comprehensive, and readable as No Fixed Points. Much thought has gone into it, along with prodigious research."-Lynn Garafola, co-editor of The Ballets Russes and Its World
Author Biography: Nancy Reynolds is director of research for the George Balanchine Foundation and a former member of the New York City Ballet. She has written widely about ballet and modern dance and is the author of Repertory in Review, among other books. Malcolm McCormick is a former professional dancer and costume designer who was a member of the dance faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, and guest lecturer at other universities for many years.
This masterly history presents a grand, old-fashioned narrative of the development of ballet, modern dance, and postmodern choreography. Synthesizing a century’s worth of observation and opinion, Reynolds and McCormick chart the pendulum swing of styles and isolate individual contributions in a way that is both comprehensive in its coverage and assured in its handling of the smallest details. They highlight the significance of factors as large as government funding and as small as the depth of Baryshnikov’s demi-plié. Where tastes differ, they generally present both sides, yet their tone, fluctuating from awestruck (Balanchine) to archly dismissive (Pina Bausch), makes clear that the authors—both former dancers—care too much about their subject to be impartial.