Dance Books is delighted to announce publication of the book ‘Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist’ edited by Richard Cave and Libby Worth, an expanded record of the Conference held at the Royal Ballet School in 2011.  Susie Crow of Oxford Dance Writers is a contributor to this volume, having collaborated with Jennifer Jackson on a paper for last year’s conference entitled “Ninette de Valois: Crafting a collaboration of ‘talents'”…

Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist
Edited by Richard Cave and Libby Worth
Published by Dance Books, Alton, UK (2012)

This volume of essays, photographs and DVD materials has been edited by
Professor Richard Cave and Dr Libby Worth, and includes contributions by
eminent dancers, theatre critics, archivists, dance notators, choreographers,
dance teachers and academics.

The major stimulus for the creation of this significant new resource was the
April 2011 Conference Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist hosted
by The Royal Ballet School. Held close to the tenth anniversary of de Valois’
death, it allowed for a robust approach to the evaluation of her work, rather
than memorialisation, and for the emergence of distinct areas of her career
that records have previously skimmed over or ignored, or that were in danger
of being lost.

In this publication, examination of de Valois’ public persona is offset by an
exploration of the private, inspired self revealed in her poetry and theoretical
writings. There is an emphasis on the articulation between past records and
current practices and responses.  To further readers’ appreciation of this
context, two groups of de Valois’ own early journalistic writings, are again
made available to readers.

This is the first time that such an extensive range of materials on de Valois’
thinking, practice and achievement has been collected in one volume with the
aim of providing the practitioner or keen ballet enthusiast or academic
researcher with an array of essential resources. To this end, no single
argument is pursued throughout the volume, but a series of voices and
practical examples is offered that can be mined for contrasting, sometimes
combative viewpoints in response to de Valois’ career.

Writing alone cannot hope fully to capture the vitality of theatrical performance
or the rigour that underpins its virtuosity. To help remedy this lack, the text of
the book is accompanied by a DVD offering some four hours of filmed
material to complement the written word.

An appendix gives a biographical time-line of the major phases of de Valois’
life and career up to the time of her retirement from the Directorship of The
Royal Ballet. Further appendices give short accounts of the two main archival
collections of materials relating to de Valois and details of how to access
them.
Full details and ordering facilities may be found at:

http://www.dancebooks.co.uk/

David Leonard
Dance Books Ltd

 

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