Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book 50: Push Comes to Shove

Push Comes to Shove by Twyla Tharp was an alright read but I had too high of expectations to really enjoyed it the way I could have.

I really enjoyed Twyla’s other book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it For Life. I thought that book provided a lot of neat ideas and ways to help pull together creative ideas. It was well written and fun.  So that set the stage for high expectations.

Not to mention, I’m a fan of Twyla Tharp. She has created some really neat dance pieces over the years. She’s truly one of the few people who have been able to cross the bridge of modern dance and ballet. Plus she’s choreographed one of the Broadway musicals that I really want to see but haven’t yet (although I would have to wait for a revival now).

I loved how the book reminded me her work with Misha (Mikhail Baryshnikov) and how young/fit he was back in the day. But in a way, that is just the tip of the iceberg of great dancers that she’s worked with or met.  It’s pretty awesome to see how she trained under Martha Graham, one of the dancers specially trained by Anna Pavlova, Merce Cunningham. Not to mention she was influenced and got to meet Balanchine. This is a real pedigree that she has.

But the book reminded what one of my teachers said, “Listening to a dancer or a choreographer isn’t always the best way to understand their work. While there is no question it’s something passionate to them, but they don’t always articulate it well.”

This was true. It was just something whenever a dance was brought up, There were some of the specific ideas that inspired her, but there was also a lack of clarity. I found myself looking at the photos and finding more of the oomph or visual to it than I did with her words. While I loved the photos, as a reader I prefer the books coming to life in my mind.

I enjoy this book.

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