Rapturous reviews and lovely complements from around the world are starting to come in, using words like ‘mesmerising’ (Sichel) ‘superbly written’ (Chisholm) and meticulous detail (Shennan). And I was chuffed to hear from David Hallberg, artistic director of Australian Ballet who wrote “bravo on such a great accomplishment. My deep congratulations…”
Veteran dance writer Shiela Chisholm writes from Cape Town : “Research supplies facts. But research alone cannot produce a work of this calibre that describes Cranko’s ballets, backed by magnificent photographs, and details stories behind them so knowledgeably that it brings them alive into one’s reading room ….
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……”
Writing from New Zealand in ‘….on Dancing’ Jennifer Shennan thought “… There is meticulous detail in the documentation and analysis of Cranko’s vast choreographic output, both within the text and in appendices. Ashley Killar has drawn on that oeuvre, as well as many of Cranko’s letters to friends and colleagues, to evaluate the teeming imagination and artistry, musical ear, lively sense of wit and satire, the devoted loyalty to friends and colleagues, the generous personality, the frankness over frustrations when things went wrong, the ability to move on to the next thing, the excesses in a sometimes reckless lifestyle — all the good and some of the bad in a life fully lived but ended too soon. 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. https://michellepotter.org/reviews/cranko-the-man-and-his-choreography-book-review/