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Ballet and Modern Dance (World of Art)

Susan Au


An essential guide to western dance from the 16th century to the present


Susan Au’s text covers the whole subject, 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.

Jim Rutter’s new introduction and revised and expanded final chapter set the book firmly in the new millennium, featuring leading choreographers and performers including Jérôme Bel, Christopher Wheeldon, Chunky Move and the ‘Ballet Boyz’ alongside such styles and influences as Krumping and Parkour. He also charts developments across onstage technology, new media and reality television, encompassing motion-responsive lasers, YouTube and So You Think You Can Dance to portray a vibrant, technologically attuned and expressively evolving medium.

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'Immediately readable and impressively panoramic…with a wealth of illustrations and newly-researched detail'
Times Literary Supplement

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Third edition

Size: 21.0 x 14.9 cm

Extent: 232 pp

Illustrations: 149

Publication date: 13 August 2012

ISBN: 9780500204115

Contents List

Introduction (new, by JR) • 1. A Most Obedient Servant • 2. The Rise of Professionalism • 3. The Development of the Ballet d’Action • 4. Ascent and Descent • 5. Crystallization and Ferment in Russia • 6. First Steps towards a New Form • 7. ‘Astonish Me’ • 8. Truly Modern • 9. The Decentralization of Ballet • 10. The Metamorphosis of Growth • 11. A Time of Growth • 12. Moving into the New Millennium (revised and extended by JR) • Endmatter

About the Author

Dance historian and author Susan Au was an archivist, dance historian and writer; James Rutter is a freelance arts critic and former lecturer based in Philadelphia.

James Rutter is a freelance arts critic and former lecturer based in Philadelphia

List of Contributors

Jim Rutter

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