Kenny Pearl’s The Dance Gods is
“the sweaty, gritty, insightful story of his amazing dance career”
during the tumultuous 1960s and ’70s in New York City.
—Carol Anderson | Author, Chasing the Tale of Contemporary Dance
Kenny dancing in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations | Photo: Vladimir Bliokh
“Writing with eloquence, wit, and tremendous honesty,
Kenny Pearl details his harrowing and exalted path to becoming a dancer . . . This is a journey of epic proportions in which iconic choreographers and dancers play pivotal roles in the realization of a dream achieved through ferocious exertion and passionate commitment. I couldn’t put this book down, and I will never forget it.”
—Peggy Baker | Dancer & Choreographer
The day after graduating with a BA in English literature from the University of Toronto, I headed for New York City to fulfill my dreams. I was an intermediate level dancer. I had no money, no New York friends, no work and my parents disapproved. The Vietnam War was raging, the military draft was in full swing and I didn’t have a Green Card or visa. Who cared! Driven by my need for dance, I was going to succeed, no matter what!
Join me as I move into a tenement slum in the hippie-populated, marijuana saturated, tie-dyed Lower East Side.
Eavesdrop on the choreographers I danced for, including Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey, and go on the first tour ever by a modern dance company to the communist Soviet Union.
Watch performances in Broadway theatres and on exotic stages built into the walls of ancient sites in Croatia and France; and in Lebanon, while soldiers with rifles lined the front of the stage guarding us.
Meet my friends and acquaintances: Elbows the thief and billionaire tobacco heiress, Doris Duke; the former lawyer, just out of jail, who took me to court, and my landlady who saved my life with her frying pan.
Visit the memorable women who moved me: Georgia from Georgia, Brenda the movie star and Alice the drug smuggler.
“An absolute page-turner and a brilliant tribute to
a pivotal time in modern dance.”
—Molly Johnson | Writer, The Dance Current Magazine