Book Signing & Performances at Perry Mansfield - Dorothy Wickenden
Steamboat Springs, CO (May 31, 2011) - Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp will hold a special book signing with The New Yorker's Executive Editor, Dorothy Wickenden, and her soon-to-be published book, Nothing Daunted: the Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West. In
the book, Wickenden takes readers on a pioneering journey through the
experiences of two highly privileged young women from the East--close
childhood friends and Smith College graduates, Dorothy Woodruff,
Wickenden's grandmother, and Rosamund Underwood.
The signing will follow a lively talk by Wickenden about the women's 1916-1917 adventures and trials as schoolteachers at an isolated schoolhouse in the Rocky Mountains.
In addition to an old-fashioned community square dance, with music by
Claddagh, there will be a special performance of the opening cowgirl
solo from Agnes de Mille's "Rodeo." As Wickenden explains in Nothing Daunted,
soon after de Mille arrived at Perry-Mansfield, as a 30-year-old dance
instructor in 1935, Charlotte and Portia took her to her first square
dance, at the Elkhead School, which had become known throughout Routt
County for its dances. That night, de Mille did a solo to "Turkey in the
Straw," with the cowboys cheering her on, and the experience inspired
her to choreograph "Rodeo," her world-famous ballet. In New York seven
years later, when the ballet was first performed, de Mille was the lead
dancer. She received twenty-two curtain calls, and Rodgers and
Hammerstein asked her to choreograph "Oklahoma!"
The solo will be performed by a Perry-Mansfield 2011 scholarship student who is studying dance at Juilliard. Paul Sutherland, former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and The Joffrey Ballet, is teaching it to her in New York. Linda Kent, head of Perry-Mansfield's dance program since 2000 and former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Paul Taylor Company, is supervising the project.
There will also be exhibits from local museums: Tread of Pioneers, the Hayden Heritage Center, Tracks and Trails Museum, the Moffat Railroad Museum (scheduled to open May 2013), and the Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch.