A series of interviews with some of the foremost dancers in twentieth-century ballet, Never Far from Dancing reflects on the paths that their careers have taken since they retired from the stage. Barbara Newman has expertly edited each of her interviews to read as a monologue, addressing every aspect of ballet, from its styles and technical demands to its personalities, its celebrated roles and, most of all, to what happens when the dancing stops.
While ballet invites all manner of writing from critics, admirers and academics, the thoughts and experiences of the dancers themselves are seldom recorded. Here, those who scaled the heights of their art hand down their wisdom and recount lives spent in this most enduring of art forms.
'Barbara Newman, one of the UK's most highly valued writers on dance, has compiled an extraordinary archive from interviews with great dancers and teachers of the 20th century who, having made their transitions to becoming repetiteurs and administrators, extended their careers in dance by generously passing on their heritage and expertise.
Their modesty in giving fulsome credit to their own teachers, coaches and choreographers, combined with their entertainingly candid memories, make this book truly enjoyable as well as informative. It is an insightful guide for those with so much to give who are embarking on their second careers off the stage and a 'must have' for all dance lovers.'
Kathryn Wade ARAD, Director, English National Ballet School 1992-2004
Trustee, Dancers Career Development & The Dance Teachers' Benevolent Fund
'Captivating… an utterly riveting view into the professional 'after-lives' of some of ballet's great performers.' Anya, Lady Sainsbury CBE
'Barbara Newman talks to a group of distinguished former dancers about their careers after they finished dancing in her latest book, Never Far From Dancing: Ballet artists in new roles. The stellar interviews include Alicia Alonso, Nina Ananiashvili, Merrill Ashley, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Beryl Grey, Desmond Kelly, Donald MacLeary, Monica Mason, Lynn Seymour, Antoinette Sibley and David Wall, which should prove fascinating reading.'
New Book Releases section, The Dancing Times
'Newman's [book] is a compilation of her conversations with retired ballet performers. It makes intriguing and enriching reading…Passion and enthusiasm for dance speak from almost every interview. Far from just getting the job done, these artists fulfilled a vocation.' Ilona Landgraf, Dance View Times
Introduction 1. Alicia Alonso 2. Beryl Grey 3. Donald MacLeary 4. Lynn Seymour 5. Antoinette Sibley 6. Monica Mason 7. Desmond Kelly 8. Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux 9. David Wall 10. Merrill Ashley 11. Nina Ananiashvili