The Dance Gods: A New York Memoir by Kenny PearlThe Dance Gods: A New York Memoir by Kenny Pearl

The Dance Gods: A New York Memoir

byKenny PearlEditorKaren Shenfeld, Susan Turner

Paperback | February 15, 2018

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When Kenny Pearl arrived in New York City, determined to succeed as a dancer, he was penniless, friendless and jobless. His memories shine against the backdrop of the turbulent '60s and '70s, including Vietnam War protests, the military draft and the rampant crime that once plagued the city. From humble beginnings in the hippie-populated Lower East Side, to performing with the greats of the New York modern dance scene-he danced with the companies of both Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey-Pearl's life is one of tenacity, hard work and passion. This is the engaging story of the hurdles he faced on his unique journey and the remarkable people he met along the way....
Kenny Pearl began formal training in dance at the age of eighteen in Toronto at the National Ballet School of Canada and with the co-founders of Toronto Dance Theatre. He moved to New York City to train and, subsequently, danced around the world with the companies of Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham. He has taught regularly at schools acr...
Title:The Dance Gods: A New York MemoirFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.65 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 0.65 inPublished:February 15, 2018Publisher:FriesenPressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1460262700

ISBN - 13:9781460262702


Rated 5 out of 5 by from insightful and eyeopening I love autobiographies, and The Dance Gods: A New York Memoir is a treasured favourite! Learning about life in NYC in the 1970's, the dance world, family struggles, and reading his tales of inner strength made it such a compelling read. You can feel Kenny's vibrance through his writing, and I smile every time I think about the book. All I can say is WOW. Get it. Read it. Treat yourself.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A highly recommended read! Kenny Pearl's 'The Dance Gods - A New York Memoir' is so well written, witty and fascinating - I was absorbed completely and read it from cover to cover in one sitting. A must-read for non-dancers and dancers alike, Pearl's inspiring encounters and experiences will have any reader instantly captivated. Consumed by laugher and tears, Kenny's struggles, dedication and passion are comforting to those pursuing any career in which they wish to be successful! I am so fortunate to have Mr. Pearl as a long-time Mentor and someone to continuously look up to - thank you for sharing this magical story - and for being my Dance God!
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A compelling read! Kenny Pearl’s “The Dance Gods-A New York Memoir” is a compelling and revealing read. I read this cover to cover in one sitting! Kenny Pearl casts a penetrating light on dance culture in the 1960s and ’70s. It is frank and honest. Kenny’s words prove him a gifted storyteller. Naked and offered up to the reader in the tiniest detail, the artist portrays himself without self congratulation, and carefully uses his passionate voice to illuminate the dance milieu at that time. This voice paves the way to show how history unfolds in “The Dance Gods”. This book is an accessible book for any reader of any age and any background.
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic read!! The Dance Gods will pull you into Kenny's world from page one, and you won't be able to put it down until it's over! I was utterly captivated from start to finish - laughing out loud at some moments, covered in goosebumps the next, and I may have shed a few tears too. The themes of perseverance and passion, which drive this story forward, hit home with anyone who knows how it feels to pursue their greatest desires. I found much in Kenny's story that struck a deep chord of familiarity within me, and with that came the courage to continue on my own journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an unforgettable read.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing book I recommend for EVERYONE to read. A captivating read -- Pearl's experiences are nothing short of inspiring. His memoir is a page-turner that dancers and nondancers alike will enjoy.
Date published: 2016-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly inspirational - a wonderful read for dancers and non-dancers alike! The Dance Gods is a beautifully written memoir that will keep you invested from start to finish. It is a must-read for both dancers and non-dancers alike. Kenny Pearl takes you on a journey through his dance career in New York City, from his very first class as a young boy to his final performances on stage with some of the worlds most cherished dance companies. Each chapter touches on a specific moment in his career, bringing to life his personal relationships with some of the most iconic dance artists of all time - Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey to name a few. Kenny's stories evoke an array of emotions. They display moments of hardship, determination, humour, sadness and true joy, making this read extremely relatable to anybody who has ever set out to achieve their passions and dreams. What was the most special to me about this book was the sensitivity with which Kenny tells each of his stories. There is a layer of heart beneath each word and it is no wonder as to why the 'Dance Gods' brought him some assistance when he needed it most. Recently, "The Dance Gods" was the chosen read for my monthly book club and after completing many novels, it is the collective favourite to date. I highly recommend this book to everyone - men, women, artists, non-artists and anybody in between. It will bring out the 'glass half-full' mentality in you, and will undoubtedly inspire you to keep striving for the things you are most passionate about in life.
Date published: 2016-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST read! "The Dance Gods" by Kenny Pearl, is a beautiful account of a young man's inspiring journey through the modern dance scene in New York City during the '60s and '70s. I was captivated from the first page to the last with Pearl's hilarious and honest story telling. I recommend this book to dancers and non-dancers alike. A MUST read!
Date published: 2016-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving and Inspiring! I really enjoyed this book, so compelling! I felt like I was right there, sharing Kenny’s adventures, his demons, his rainbows and all of his sensory and emotional experiences of making and living his dreams come true. This is a wonderful and inspiring story that everyone can connect to.
Date published: 2016-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous read The book grabbed me from start to finish. I enjoyed the details of NY life back then . Kenny's descriptions of this passionate life as a dancer had me both laughing and wondrous. What a life! A highly recommended read.
Date published: 2016-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I was Immediately absorbed in it!!! Kenny's New York memoir is an amazing read. Personally as a new mom of a sweet and very curious little human, reading a book at the moment would seem an impossible task, but I was immediately absorbed in it. I believe baby Amelia enjoyed watching her mom both giggle and cry while turning the pages, pages filled with stories that the author describe in such a way that they make an immediate imprint in your mind. The stories transcend the life of a dancer in the heat of New York City during the 60's and 70's to reminds us how it takes hard work and unlimited dedication to face up to who we really are. Dance lover or not, take this book home with you!
Date published: 2016-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Inspiration "The Dance Gods: A New York Memoir" Is, without a doubt, the most inspiring autobiography I have ever read. As soon as I read the first sentence: "I looked the US Immigration officer in the eye and lied…" I couldn't put it down. Not only do the events in the book make up an inspiring story themselves, but Kenny's passion, dedication, and perseverance can be felt in every word he writes. The language of this book is accessible to dancers and non-dancers alike. It is not just a book about dance, it is a book about self-discovery, free love, hope, and the pursuit of dreams with reckless abandon. If you have ever had a dream, if you've ever been lost, if you've ever wanted to be something bigger than yourself, the Dance Gods is for you.
Date published: 2016-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining and Informative Pearl's "The Dance Gods" is not only an exciting and enjoyable read, but also a very educational trip through dance history. It is humorous, unpredictable, and offers incredible insight into dance in NYC during the 60's and 70's.
Date published: 2016-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What compelling stories, told with humour and passion. What compelling stories, told with humour and passion. It makes that important time in dance, and in your career, come to life. I enjoyed it so much and am looking forward to revisiting it again soon. Thank you for sharing this insight into your life with us.
Date published: 2016-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read This book was well written, interesting and incredibly inspiring to not just dancers, but to everyone trying to pursue their passion. Kenny brings the city of New York to life with his experiences both in the city and in the dance community. I was constantly left in awe with what he was able to accomplish with hard work, extreme dedication to his passion, and a bit of luck courtesy of the “dance gods”. All his stories are informative – they give you a glimpse into the major world events going on at the time – and they can be funny, heartwarming or heartbreaking at times. This is a story that gets you hooked right from the start and doesn’t disappoint.
Date published: 2016-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for dancers and non-dancers alike! "The Dance Gods" transports you to the wonderful world of Modern Dance right as it is taking off. Kenny's wild adventures through the glorious New York City as he navigates his way from being an aspiring modern dancer, to one of the greats, keeps you on the edge of your seat. He allows us a back stage pass to what it was like dancing for the superstars of modern dance that all dancers greatly admire and study. Kenny's comedic touch and beautiful perspective on life and following your dreams makes this book accessible to anyone, not just dancers. It is a wonderful read that reminds us all not to take love, family, friends, comfort, and our physical well-being for granted.
Date published: 2016-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommend! A very compelling read! Kenny recalls every moment with great detail and insight, it was as if I was there in the room experiencing everything with him. He pairs his recollections with copies of photographs, show programs, and personal postcards to make a rich and realistic experience for the reader. As a young dancer myself, it was absolutely thrilling to read about Kenny's daily interactions with modern dance pioneers of the 60's and 70's. Kenny's incredibly honest words and colourful, vivid imagery kept me hooked until the very last page!
Date published: 2016-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for Young Artists As a young dancer this book spoke to me on such a personal level. It is a must have for any emerging artist in any artistic field. Kenny gives an insightful look into the minds of the dance icons of the past and poignantly ties his witty humour, sense of self and heartaches with a beautiful woven novel that will keep you transfixed for days after you read it. Completely worth taking the time to read, The Dance Gods will leave you inspired to get up and chase after your dreams with no hesitation.
Date published: 2016-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deeply human and gorgeously inspiring :) The Dance Gods is a captivating, heartwarming, and nearly sacred glimpse into the life of a dance artist's personal adventure in New York City. I found this a surprisingly rare and generous documentation of a time in a dancer's life that can be truly insecure. Kenny Pearl delves deep into all aspects of his journey to become a professional dancer, sparing no sordid detail or notable success of his experiences. The result is a deeply human and gorgeously inspiring memoir that reads both like a fictional page-turner as well as a historical account of an important era in dance history. Amongst my favorite moments are the tales of Kenny with the Alvin Ailey American dance Theater while on tour, as well as some truly amazing stories about his experience with modern dance legend Martha Graham. All in all, a fabulous read!
Date published: 2016-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful, Powerful and Tender--A Must Read! This is a fascinating book about an exceptional period in Kenny Pearl's life. What he achieved as a dancer in such a short space of time without extensive early training is almost unimaginable. To go to New York in his early 20’s and to fairly quickly become part of the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey companies is extraordinary. I know I’m using a lot of superlatives. When you read this book I believe you’ll find yourself doing the same thing. "The Dance Gods" is a tender, exciting, warmly humorous, honest and beautifully written book. I felt I lived vicariously through his experiences with great pleasure. I encourage anyone interested in dance or the arts in general to run (or dance) not walk to buy this book and then sigh with delight as you turn every page.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We Have Magic To Do (Just For You) It has been said that if you want to understand the pulse of a generation, watch the young artists in New York City. Kenny Pearl was a Toronto based dancer who in 1967, took a great leap forwards by packing his bags and moving to the Big Apple to pursue his dream as a professional dancer. The narrative chronicles his struggles and accomplishments, professional and peripheral, in his career with the renowned Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey dance companies. His travels took him from Manhattan to Moscow to McAllen and back, all amid a backdrop of socially conscious artists drawn to New York from all corners of the world in the swinging sixties and turbulent seventies. Adding to the turbulence were the titular dance gods. Just when the coast seemed clear, there they were to mess things up. But at other times when all hope seemed lost, there they were to provide safe haven. This is the story of a man with a dream and a vision who pursued it and in doing so, learned to believe in his message.
Date published: 2016-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So inspiring! This book had me captivated from the first page. A great account of one dancer's career, in New York City during the heyday of the Martha Graham Dance Company as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This is a story filled with inspiration, challenges, and finding one's artistic voice. So inspiring. So moving.
Date published: 2016-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yes! Buy this book! I read this book in two days! It was that good. Beautifully written, compelling, heart breaking, dream inducing, inspiring. Kenny's words will transport you to New York in the 60's and make you feel like you are living the life of a young artist. You will learn about art and probably a little bit about yourself too. Great reading for art lovers, great reading for someone who could be an art lover.
Date published: 2016-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dance thrills Canadian Kenny Pearl knows how to tell a story about life - his life - as a dancer. Imagine working under Martha Graham. He did. Imagine auditioning for Alvin Ailey - he did - and became a member of the troupe's international touring company. All set in the explosive and creative 1960s in New York City. The gripping tales about the thrill and the pain of dance will leave you breathless. Pearl continues to be a leading light in modern dance in Canada and in the United States to this day. A must-read.
Date published: 2015-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommended! A story about the unique career trajectory of a dance artist, from odd jobs to injuries and the thrill of live performance. Pearl offers a unique, humanizing perspective on choreographic legends of American Modern Dance, including Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey. Off stage, Pearl recounts the messy stuff of life, summer camps, dating, making rent and getting by, with self-deprecating humor and compelling sensitivity. I loved the inclusion of personal photography by the Author.
Date published: 2015-11-25