A Dance Against Time

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Pocket Books, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 386 pages
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A Dance Against Time is the remarkable story of Edward Stierle's meteoric journey to stardom at the Joffrey Ballet. Growing up in a large Catholic working-class family in Florida, Eddie wowed local audiences with his razzle-dazzle tap and jazz routines. But his dream was to become a classical ballet dancer and join one of America's leading companies. As he struggled to succeed, he had to overcome not only the limitations of his short, muscular body, but also the disapproval of his father, the jealousy of his siblings, and the overbearing love of his determined mother. Undeterred, Eddie decided to reinvent himself. While working to transform himself from showman to artist, he was also wrestling with his emerging homosexuality - at the same time the world was slowly realizing the gravity of the AIDS pandemic. At a major international ballet competition, Eddie caught the attention of Robert Joffrey, the celebrated director of the Joffrey Ballet, America's most popular dance company. Performing with the Joffrey, Eddie quickly established himself as its most daring virtuoso dancer, captivating audiences with his exuberance, technical brilliance, and powerful grace. Offstage, he fell into affairs with both men and women. His career was on the rise and the world seemed to be his for the taking. And then, at the age of nineteen, he tested positive for HIV. Even as his health declined and the drama of his family's reaction to his illness intensified, Eddie entered the most creative period of his life, dancing new roles and choreographing his first works. His sense of mortality lent his life urgency and infused his dances with a maturity far beyond his years. Marianne Williamson's spiritualcounsel gave him hope. He spent the last month of his life finishing his second ballet for the Joffrey and planning his twenty-third birthday party. Three days after the ballet's world premiere, Eddie died. The first backstage look at the Joffrey Ballet, A Dance Against Time is also the unflinching chronicle of an average American family dealing with AIDS. Illustrated throughout with dramatic personal photographs, A Dance Against Time draws on exclusive interviews with Eddie Stierle's family, Joffrey colleagues, friends, and lovers, and Eddie's own journals and letters. Diane Solway has written a moving, powerful book about creativity and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

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A DANCE AGAINST TIME: The Brief, Brilliant Life of a Joffrey Dancer

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A sensitive biography of a young dancer/choreographer who died of AIDS just two days after his first two dances premiered at the Joffrey Ballet in March 1991. Freelance journalist Solway uses Edward ... Read full review

A dance against time

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Edward Stierle was a bright, shining light whose untimely death at 23 from AIDS was a great loss. With talent, hard work, and unwavering determination, he transformed himself from the razzle-dazzle ... Read full review



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About the author (1994)

Solway is a journalist who has covered the performing arts for the New York Times, Elle, and Town & Country.

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