i have no idea where i heard about this book, or how it came that i put it on hold at the library, but however-i have gladness. jacques d’amboise is clearly a person who lives on purpose, one with the kind of passion that spills over to everything he experiences sensually. as an aside, i am currently watching starting out in the evening (dir.andrew wagner) and the heather character just said “i did what i always do in times of uncertainty-i went to the books, i went to the library.” and so, on a sunday morning-people are interesting because they’re interested.
here are a few examples of where dancers meet readers:
“Janie arrived for morning class early, even before the stage crew had turned on the work lights. When the rest of us showed up, Janie would have dramatically posed herself on center stage, splayed in a split under the ghost light (a bare light bulb on a stand in center stage), and reading an enormous book. Every once in a while, she would shift her split, sometimes with the right leg front, then the left, then back again, without ever interrupting her reading. Engrossed, Janie would read right up until Balanchine started the plies. “What are you reading that’s so interesting?” he sometimes asked. Janie’s act never changed, though her books did! For several weeks, she pored over the dictionary; next, her nose was buried in a volume of Encyclopaedia Britannica, or some philosophical tome, Nietzsche or Kierkegaard. A week later, it was Buddhist texts, then she switched to The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It seemed she carried her own library.” (145-6)
“For a while, one of the brides, Julie Newmar, replaced the vanished Rock Hudson as my a.m. chauffeur. We’d make a date at the taxi stand, she’d pick me up at five a.m. and zoom off, driving erratically and fast. She’d say, ‘Don’t talk to me, I’m not awake yet,’ open up a book on the steering wheel, and start reading. As a driver, she was at her bizarre zenith. Over six feet tall, and large-breasted, she dripped sensuality with each husky pant that started and ended every sentence. Her mind worked constantly. Julie was smart, but camouflaged her intelligence by playing the innocent, sweet thing who didn’t quite understand what was happening to or around her. She caught up and passed every car on the highway. We’d talk a few platitudes and exchange a bit of gossip, but often, there was no conversation at all, as Julie was engrossed in her book while driving. I’d sit, rigid, and she would bury her nose down between the pages, propping the book on the steering wheel, occasionally glancing up at the road.” (155-6)