Agnes de Mille

Agnes de Mille's Autobiographical Books

by Alan Nicoll, 12/7/01

I recommend highly the autobiographical books of Agnes de Mille, the choreographer who is best known for the Broadway productions of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. The first book is Dance to the Piper, followed by about five others. Titles include And Promenade Home, Where the Wings Grow, and Reprieve (I can't remember any others).

Dance to the Piper is my favorite, and it includes some interesting insights into the early movie industry in Hollywood. The writing is very charming and it's worth seeing her view of choreography, ballet, and various companies and persons she worked with.

The last volume, Reprieve, describes her struggles to recover from a stroke. It's well worth reading, but I think less entertaining or interesting than the other volumes, perhaps because I think she says very little about dance or choreography in this book.

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