“Nothing prepared me for the depth of research and perception that Ashley has brought to his subject … above all the sheer readability of his book, which I believe will not only mark it out as the definitive record of Cranko and his ballets, but also make it widely read and enjoyed.”from the Foreword by Sir David Bintley CBE, choreographer and director of Birmingham Royal Ballet 1995-2019
In a lifetime of reading biographies I have never once read one that so vividly paints such clarity defining portraits of a man’s genius – on all Arts related subjects – love affairs, wit and idiosyncrasies. Unlike many biographies (and auto-biographies) this is a real page turner. A superbly written book bringing alive a man and his life works……”Sheila Chisholm, Cape Argus https://www.gate5.co.za/read/28252/qv/101117176/152521020/6997/p
You come to know the man through coming to know his works, not just by reading a list of titles but by experiencing the texture and timing of the choreographies. That’s skilful dance writing.Jennifer Shennan in https://michellepotter.org/reviews/cranko-the-man-and-his-choreography-book-review/
“Bravo on such a great accomplishment. My deep congratulations…”David Hallberg, director Australian Ballet
“Questions about a life such as John Cranko’s cause us to ask where? when? with whom? how? and above all why? Ashley Killar’s book answers those questions, enabling the reader to ‘connect the dots’ of John’s short, industrious life in a very knowledgeable, personal and meticulously researched work. Ashley has written the book with care, passion and love!”Reid Anderson, Intendant of Stuttgart Ballet 1996-2018
for more reviews see Rapt Reviews
In mid September 2023 I received information that contradicts a paragraph contained in the first and second editions of Cranko the Man and his Choreography (page 299). This information, regarding a letter from ten German dancers in the Stuttgart Ballet was drawn, with John Percival’s personal permission, from his 1983 biography of Cranko, Theatre in my Blood (pages 211-212).
Birgit Keil, a leading dancer with Stuttgart Ballet for many years, now assures me categorically that the wording quoted by the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper on 2 April 1969 was not in fact written nor signed by the dancers. It appears that the letter was a communication from an unknown source to the Landtag (state parliament) and subsequently published by the newspaper.
I apologise for any hurt caused to the named dancers. Ashley Killar