March-April 2016 | Page Turners


Books of note (new and not)

Dumpy La Rue
By Elizabeth Winthrop; illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Price: $8.99
Ages 4-8; 40 pages; paperback; 2004

“ ‘He’s a porker with passion, / a dancing fool, a pig with rhythm— / this breaks every rule,’ / said the normally reticent mule.” With a romping, rhyming text by Winthrop and exuberant illustrations by Lewin (Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type), Dumpy La Rue will have readers tapping their toes and dancing a jig with the dance-loving pig as they follow him and the barnyard animals from farm to fame.

Making Music for Modern Dance: Collaboration in the Formative Years of a New American Art
Edited by Katherine Teck
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Price: $38.95
400 pages; paperback; 2011

This essay collection offers insight into the development of American modern dance—from Isadora Duncan to Merce Cunningham—in relation to its music, both preexisting and commissioned. Presenting firsthand accounts and critical evaluations, the book traces the collaborations, working methods, and aesthetic views of choreographers and composers working during the first half of the 20th century, including Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Lou Harrison, Leonard Bernstein, and Bessie Schönberg.

Dance Science: Anatomy, Movement Analysis, Conditioning
By Gayanne Grossman
Publisher: Princeton Book Company
Price: $39.95
320 pages; paperback; 2015

This three-part book presents human anatomy and motion in functional, dance-specific ways, with the goal of teaching readers to appreciate and take ownership of their bodies through a tour of the musculoskeletal system; an introduction to movement analysis; and a practical, integrative approach to conditioning. The text is accompanied by anatomical line drawings, photographs, and experiential activities designed for dancers.

My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey
By Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrated by James E. Ransome
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Price: $17.99
Ages 5-10; 48 pages; hardcover; 2015

As a boy, Robert Battle was inspired by seeing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform Revelations; in 2011, he became the company’s artistic director. This picture book biography tells Battle’s story. Growing up in a poor Miami neighborhood, he wore painful leg braces and didn’t start dance training until he was a teenager. Yet, supported by family and teachers, he went on to study at The Juilliard School, to dance and choreograph professionally, and to become a dance world leader.