The JOFFREY BALLET: Robert Joffrey and the Making of An American Dance Company

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Simon & Schuster, Oct 17, 1996 - Performing Arts - 464 pages
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Robert Joffrey was born and raised in Seattle, the son of immigrants who had arrived on the West Coast in pursuit of the American Dream. From an early age he was a natural performer, inventing tap dance routines in the manner of his idol, Fred Astaire, and playing the tambourine in his parents' restaurant. He came to ballet as an eleven year old, learning basic techniques from a Russian. It was in the hands of idiosyncratic teacher Mary Ann Wells that Joffrey flourished. As a young adult, he moved to New York city with his partner, Gerald Arpino, with the clear purpose of founding his own dance company, one that drew inspiration equally from Nijinsky and Martha Graham. Joffrey quickly built a thriving company and a distinguished dance school.
Early on, though, the Joffrey was better known in the heartland, where the company's nucleus traveled from town to town, performing in old movie houses and high school auditoriums. In the 1960s the company grew to prominence nationally, dancing for President Kennedy and touring the world. Joffrey was profoundly influenced by that decade's counterculture, and the company became famous for us "rock" ballets such as Astarte. Although Joffrey died of AIDS in 1988 the company continues to produce some of our most imaginative and memorable dance.

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THE JOFFREY BALLET: A History of America's Premier Ballet Company

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A vigorous, finely balanced reporting job on the late Robert Joffrey and his ever-popular dance company. Anawalt, a California dance critic, is an unabashed fan of Joffrey's, yet this volume is no ... Read full review

The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the making of an American dance company

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In chronicling the history of the Joffrey Ballet, Anawalt, who has written for Dance Magazine and Ballet Revue, has retold the story of the American dream. Robert Joffey (1930-88), the son of ... Read full review


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