Vital Grace: The Black Male Dancer
Editor: Duane Cyrus
Photographer: Joanne Savio
Vital Grace, a collaboration between dancer/choreographer Cyrus and photographer Savio, is an exploration and celebration of black male dancers. The approximately 190 color photographs, mostly of dancers executing Cyrus’s choreography along with some close-ups and portraits, are crisp, beautiful, energetic, and stylish. In their introductions, both Cyrus and Savio state a desire to capture the joy and individuality of the performers in a non-stereotypical way, and generally they succeed; the photographs literally leap off the page. Commentary by such dance artists as Geoffrey Holder, Gregory Hines, and Bill T. Jones further enhance this eloquent testimony to the vibrant presence of black men in modern American dance. Each of these books informs the other and would make a welcome addition to larger public libraries.