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Hanya Holm
The Biography of an Artist
Walter Sorell

Available only as an ebook.

Wesleyan Open Books

1979 • 238 pp. 16 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/4"

$0.00 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7797-9

Open access - no commercial use
Click Open Access at right to check availability.

An indispensable addition to the history of dance, this biography of a great dancer, teacher, and choreographer is based on interviews, tapes, articles, and reviews... [continued in Reviews below]”—Booklist

A groundbreaking biography on Hanya Holm, an influential German choreographer who moved to New York in the early 30’s and was a leading modern dance innovator who worked with Mary Wigman, Alwin Nikolais, Walter Terry, Glenn Tetley, Valerie Bettis, and many more. Holm, dancer, teacher, and choreographer of Trend, My Fair Lady, and other notable works, is one of the half-dozen greatest figures in the world of the dance. This book is at once the story of her career, a statement of her aesthetic principles, and an informed analysis of her impact and importance.

The book is highlighted by Holm’s decade with Mary Wigman in Germany; her work in New York in the 1930’s; the first Bennington Festival; fruitful summers in Colorado Springs; and forays into the related areas of the musical, the opera, and the drama. Here too is Miss Holm’s own view of her life and New York, as set forth in her writings and in many hours of tape-recorded conversations.

Reviews / Endorsements

“An indispensable addition to the history of dance, this biography of a great dancer, teacher, and choreographer is based on interviews, tapes, articles, and reviews concerned with her theories, personality, and associations. Her intellectual and artistic training in Germany, her partnership with Mary Wigman, her establishment of schools of the dance in New York and Colorado, and her choreography for opera and such musicals as My Fair Lady are set forth by a dance critic who is a contributing editor of Dance Magazine. Appended are a chronology, a list of Holm’s essays, a list of her awards, and sources.”Booklist

“[Walter Sorell’s Hanya Holm] is a delicate and careful study of one of the modern-dance pioneers that very clearly sets her work and her ideas within the context of her life. You will learn a lot of the background of contemporary modern dance through this.”Clive Barnes, The New York Times

“It is good to have Hanya Holm rescued from the mysterious and invisible status of choreographer and brought into tangible focus both as a person and as a master and teacher of movement.” John Martin

WALTER SORELL (1906-1997) was the New York dance critic for The Providence Journal from 1950 to 1966 and a contributor to publications like Dance News, Dance Magazine, Dance Observer, and Ballet Today. The author of more than 25 books in English and German, he sought to unite the arts in a cultural synthesis. He also translated several important novels from the German, including Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf and Erich Maria Remarque's Arch of Triumph. His interest in modern-dance history led him to translate two anthologies of writings by the German Expressionist choreographer Mary Wigman: The Language of Dance and The Mary Wigman Book.

An NEH / Mellon Humanities Open Book Grant Recipient


Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:28:52 -0500