"Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance," by Jennifer Dunning...

Book Brief

November 24, 1996|By Chris Ledbetter | Chris Ledbetter,Knight-Ridder News Service

"Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance," by Jennifer Dunning; Addison Wesley. 468 pages. $30

"The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company," by Sasha Anawalt. Scribner. 464 pages. $35

It seems appropriate that dueling biographies should appear almost simultaneously on dance visionaries Alvin Ailey and Robert Joffrey; the similarities between the two men are great.

Both biographies provide insight into the passion these men held for dance and for life. They are also both so meticulously detailed as to be sometimes tedious but they are invaluable to those who love dance.

Dunning's is the better written and well-researched. Shecarefully chronicles Ailey's career from those first dance lessons to his creation of a new dance style. She makes you understand why Ailey devoted his life to dance.

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