Excerpts, plus links to the full reviews
This biography of John Cranko is a deeply researched, widely contextualised and beautifully written account of the life and work of a major choreographer of the mid-20th century.Jennifer Shennan …on dancing http://www.michellepotter.org/john-cranko
…written with love and affection.
Ashley Killar, a former dancer with the Stuttgart company whilst Cranko was director, has written an enjoyable and enlightening new biography of the man… It is written with love and affection … but the author has not shied away from noting the choreographer’s insecurities, nor from stating that not all his ballets were works of genius. Above all, it underlines the fact that Cranko was a chatty, intelligent, funny and amiable gay man, as well as a supportive father figure to many of his dancers.Jonathan Gray former editor Dancing Times in Gramilano www.gramilano.com/2023/01/biography-john-cranko/
…a book this brilliant.
Research supplies facts. But research alone cannot produce a work of this calibre, one that describes Cranko’s ballets, backed by magnificent photographs, and detailed stories behind them so knowledgeably that it brings them alive into one’s reading room? Only someone breathing alongside the person concerned could produce a book this brilliant.Shiela Chisholm Cape Argus https://www.gate5.co.za/read/28252/qv/101117176/152521020/6997/p
…he was such fun to be with.
I have very much enjoyed your writing and agree with Sheila Chisholm ‘….Research alone cannot produce a work of this calibre’. It brought Johnnie back to life for me, he was a genius and such fun to be with.Clarissa Lewis, daughter of the artist John Piper in a letter to Ashley Killar
… Ashley Killar’s affectionate biography is written with the benefit of an insider’s view
particularly valuable… written with great erudition, love, frankness and the benefit of an insider’s view. It is also an engrossing read.Karen van Ulzen, Dance Australia http://www.danceaustralia.com.au/news/tribute-to-a-tireless-choreographer
…we gain an understanding of the many layers to Cranko’s personality.
Killar’s biography puts Cranko in context of his life and times … we gain an understanding of the many layers to Cranko’s personality. … [He] did not have an official ‘office’ but was accessible at all times to his dancers, whom he considered family. He was generous, loyal, had a bubbling sense of fun, a splendid musical ear, was full of finesse and banter, yet sometimes hid an audacious, exuberant lifestyle.Lynne Lancaster Dance Informa