Ghost Dance

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Penguin, 2004 - Choreographers - 290 pages
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Part love story, part memoir, ghost dance is a deeply felt meditation on the art of performance, on absence and on life itself. The book swoops from the Everest-highs of the stages of New York and London, down through the back room of Manhattan's gay baths of the 1980s. It sits in meditation on silent retreats before labouring at the unyielding coalface of the performing arts in New Zealand. . Malcolm Ross, Janet Frame, Tobias Schneebaum, Billie Farnell, Paul Taylor, Lloyd Newson and a stone from Emily Dickinson's garden are the supporting cast of this odyssey recounted from within the flickering shadows of chronic illness. This is beautiful, articulate and memorable writing, with lovely descriptive touches and real creative and intellectual depth. The book is illustrated with photographs from Douglas s personal life and dancing career in the style of Sebald's Austerlitz.

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