• Drums sound in Hackensack: Agnes de Mille and the Jooss Ballet

      Lidbury, Clare (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-31)
      In 1941 Agnes de Mille created Drums Sound in Hackensack for the Jooss Ballet. There is no film of the work and few photographs but the work is documented in her choreographic notes, letters to and from de Mille, dancers’ recollections, and reviews. From these can be learned why and how de Mille created the work, what it was like, and why it was significant to the Jooss Ballet. With its American theme, historical setting, dream sequence, and a female character at the center of the work it may be seen as a forgotten stepping stone in de Mille’s choreographic development.
    • What will survive us? Sigurd Leeder and his legacy

      Lidbury, Clare (Society of Dance History Scholars, 2017-04-30)
      What was it about a single gesture by Peter Wright that made me exclaim “He must have studied with Leeder” (BBC TV 1988). What I had seen was a ‘central movement’ of the arm which Wright was using to demonstrate a possible intention for a reaching gesture. ‘Central movement’ is very distinctive and rarely performed, in my experience, by those who have not had some contact with the Jooss-Leeder training. In fact Wright had worked with Sigurd Leeder from 1944-47 receiving his first dance training and performing experience as an apprentice travelling with the Ballets Jooss on tour in the UK (Wright, 1993). Subsequently Wright studied and worked with many other teachers, mostly in classical ballet, and went on to play a significant part in the development of British Ballet in the second half of the twentieth century. Some 40 years on, having experienced and embraced it, that work with Leeder was still clearly imprinted in Wright’s body.