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A portrait of talented dancer Edward Stierle describes his rise from working-class origins, efforts to achieve excellence, emerging homosexuality, overwhelming successes with the Joffrey Ballet, and lost battle with AIDS.
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Eddie Stierle, lead dancer and choreographer for the Joffrey Ballet, was only 23 when AIDS claimed his life in March 1991. Solway, a journalist who specializes in the performing arts, tells the brief but dazzling and tragic story of Stierle's life with quiet wonder and immense respect. Stierle, the last of eight children, developed a passion for performance and dance at a very early age. His adoring mother encouraged Stierle over the objections of his father, who worried that dance, especially ballet, wasn't manly enough. Discovering practically at the onset of puberty that he was attracted to both girls and boys, even Stierle was a bit concerned about his sexuality. Although his sexual orientation wavered, his dedication to dance never failed in spite of the fact that he was told he was too short and stocky to be a classical dancer. Robert Joffrey, who had a similar physique, thought otherwise and offered Stierle a place in his company the very first time he saw him dance. As Solway traces Stierle's fast and furious rise to stardom, she also tracks the rise of the AIDS epidemic. Indeed, the HIV virus seems to shadow Stierle as he labors to master his art and forge meaningful relationships. The memories of Stierle's family, lovers, and friends are so fresh and vivid it's quite a shock to finish Solway's well-written book and realize that this dynamic, creative, and courageous young artist, like so many of his colleagues, is gone. Donna SeamanFrom Publishers Weekly:
"When we lose an artist, we're really losing two people: the person and the artist," writes journalist Solway, who skillfully demonstrates the significance of the double loss in this biography of Edward Stierle, a gifted Joffrey Ballet dancer and promising choreographer who died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 23. The book is no elegy but a gripping, unsentimental story of the impact of AIDS on an artist, his family and the dance community. Solway is in full command of the details of Stierle's short life, from his upbringing in Florida by conservative, loving parents to his dance training, sexual experimentation and ongoing quest for fulfillment in a demanding profession. She lets us see the pattern of Stierle's life clearly as a cruelly interrupted upward trajectory. This is also a portrait of a ballet company, with its rivalries, friendships and creative struggles, that offers candid glimpses of company founder Robert Joffrey and his collaborator, choreographer Gerald Arpino. The book should help readers understand not just the troubles of one dancer but the crises-medical, financial, artistic-that afflict a generation of dancers. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Pocket Books, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0671788949
Book Description Pocket Books, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st Printing. Seller Inventory # DADAX0671788949
Book Description Pocket Books, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110671788949