RaveThe Wall Street JournalTo help us better understand Robbins, Amanda Vaill has compiled a rich selection of his writings ... Drawing on the Robbins archive in the New York Public Library and on the correspondence of his friends and associates, Ms. Vaill has produced a hit of her own out of Robbins’s letters, diaries, sketches and notes. For each chronological section she has also provided a substantial preface; taken together, they amount to a distillation of her definitive 2006 biography, Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins ... Ms. Vaill’s book is filled with vivid details about the dailiness of Robbins’ life.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThe first life of Petipa in English, Nadine Meisner’s Marius Petipa: The Emperor’s Ballet Master is engaging, well-researched and strong on context ... Ms. Meisner’s biography is impressively detailed. She has pored over the memoirs of Petipa’s dancers and assistants, as well as his own...She has also consulted newspaper interviews and reviews...She has studied the copious records of the Imperial Theaters and drawn profitably on the writings of dance scholars and cultural historians. Pulling together the many threads of her research, Ms. Meisner weaves a rich portrait of Petipa, his circumstances, his times.
E. Douglas Bomberger
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Bomberger captures well the reigning emphasis in 1917 on Americanness ... Making Music American has a satisfying structure and natural propulsion.