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Book review: ‘Through The Eyes of a Dancer’ shows author’s expertise in dance, in words

SHARE Book review: ‘Through The Eyes of a Dancer’ shows author’s expertise in dance, in words

"THROUGH THE EYES OF A DANCER," by Wendy Perron, Wesleyan University Press, $29.95, 343 pages (nf)

In "Through The Eyes of a Dancer," Dance Magazine's editor at large, Wendy Perron takes readers on a journey through the world of dance from the 1960s to today using her own reviews, interviews and essays to show the evolution of dance and who made it happen.

In 1969, during her senior year at Bennington College, Perron discovered that observing dance performance wasn't enough: "It was only by talking about it could I get closer to understanding it," she said.

Thus began her career in reviewing and writing about the art of dance.

"Through The Eyes of a Dancer" includes pieces of Perron's work from the New York Times to the Village Voice with essay topics ranging from the art and choreography, the tragedy of AIDS and the love/hate relationship Perron has with reality television dance programs.

Perron chronicles her path in dancing both classical ballet and modern dance, and how she transferred the love of movement into words so that others could see through the eyes of a dancer.

Perron's writing describes a dancer's life with passion and a performance's details as if it were a living, breathing organism. Perron's love for the art is evident, even through the depressing parts and the bad reviews.

In the title "Through The Eyes of a Dancer," Perron writes that she "want(s) to emphasize that everyone's eyes are different, that all critics write from how they see things...When looking at a work of art, there is no one correct way to view it or to judge it. So I am saying, This is how I see things through this particular life in dance behind me."

And while Perron says this book offers only "a few slices" of what she has seen and done, each piece is emotional, moving, beautiful and articulate. Perron confesses that she isn't a writer, but this book — this view from her eyes — will hopefully prove her wrong.

If you go ...

What: Wendy Perron book signing

When: Monday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Tara Creel is a Logan native and mother of three boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com and she blogs at www.taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.