Books: Dance Spell

AFTERIMAGES

by Arlene Croce

Knopf; 466 pages; $12.95

The line between reviewing and criticism is a smudged one, but Arlene Croce's dance column in The New Yorker falls into the latter category as easily as Randall Jarrell's poetry chronicle or James Agee's film commentary in the '40s. The dance world can very well use her learning and passionate commitment—and even her occasional irritability.

Ballet has exploded in popularity during the past ten or 15 years. There are more challenges for choreographers and performers than ever, and some big money. Even Hollywood is paying attention. Taken together, the pieces collected in Afterimages from The...

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