How To Dance Forever: Surviving Against The Odds
By Daniel Nagrin
One of the country’s most distinguished and critically acclaimed solo dancers and choreographers debunks the myth that dancers must retire from professional life as performers in their early forties, when professionals in other fields are only beginning to do their best work. In How to Dance Forever, Daniel Nagrin, a performing artist since 1940, who initiated his own career as a solo performer in 1957 at the age of forty, offers not only his recollections of a lifetime in dance but the kind of insight and practical wisdom that should inform and inspire neophytes and professionals alike.
Daniel Nagrin is one of a handful of master dancer/choreographers who have survived the powerful physical, emotional, and financial stresses of an often brutally demanding profession. With great wisdom and wit, this fiercely passionate veteran gives us an unusual and much-needed book that combines theory, personal philosophy, experience, and knowledge about technique with practical information that ranges from nutrition, healers and treatment, sex, meditation, kneepads, and toe grips to the special problems and needs of dancers over fifty.
Daniel Nagrin has been dubbed “the great loaner of American dance” by Dance Magazine. His career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher spans over four decades–from Broadway, where he was once voted Best Male Dancer, to films to being a solo concert artist, a lecturer, and an artist-in-residence on the university touring circuit. Mr. Nagrin studied with a variety of modern dance teachers, including Helen Tamiris, Hanya Holm, Martha Graham, and Anna Sokolow.
Advance Acclaim for How to Dance Forever
“I was moved and enlightened by How to Dance Forever and recommend it to all who dance or share its joys.”
–Melissa Hayden, master teacher, North Carolina School of the Arts; former lead dancer, New York City Ballet
“Daniel Nagrin has had a heroic career in dance. In his book he extracts a wealth of information about the study and exercise of the profession…. It’s a must for any student or pro who wants to know what it’s really about.”
–Alwin Nikolais, internationally renowned director of the Nikolais Dance Theatre
“How to Dance Forever is both inspiring and practical. It ranges from how to take daily class to how to manager diet, discouragement and injury. It admonished, cajoles and praises with insight and humor. It is as necessary as tights and leotard for all students’ ‘dance bags’!”
–Martha Myers, dean, American Dance Festival
“Daniel Nagrin’s book is so good that a copy should be in every dance library, conservatory, school and college in the country. It’s the type of book that could be boring and pedantic, but Nagrin has made it fascinating as well as informative. It’s obvious he has put his hear and soul into it.”
–Michael Maule, master teacher, Juilliard School of Dance; former international premier danseur
“Genuine, salty, sassy and wise, this book is a treasure…. I wish How to Dance Forever had been available earlier. It would have been the perfect ‘required’ text for a course I’m teaching this semester–a seminar for senior dance majors about to enter the real world, in which we sum up what they’ve learned in formal classes and then try to fill in the kind of information they did not learn but will need to ‘survive.'”
–Bill Evens, director of modern dance, Indiana University; choreographer; master teacher
“Daniel Nagrin puts it all between pages and, thank Heaven!, reveals that dancers are not self-destroying fanatics, helpless on drugs, desperate in sex until they burn out in their thirties. Here’s a book about real dance to afford dance students, and everyone, an honest inside look at a dancer’s world.”
–Stuart Hodes, arts and dance administrator; former soloist, Martha Graham Dance Company
“Daniel Nagrin has written a wonderful book, How to Dance Forever. It should be read by dancers and teachers of all backgrounds. Nagrin has succeeded with a subject-dancer’s health-that has eluded other writers. His informal style artfully camouflages the seriousness of his advice which covers every detail of a dancers’s dayand life.”
–David S. Weiss, M.D., orthopedic surgeon writing for Ballet Review
“Daniel has gathered a lifetime of knowledge and experence and his wisdom permeates the book. How to Dance Forever gives insight not only on dance, but also on life.
–Mel Wong, artistic director of the Mel Wong Dance Company and the Dance Department of University of Hawaii
“It may be the best book on dance I’ve ever seen.”
–Lynda Huey, Sportsmedicine Education and Research Foundation Newsletter
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