Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 2, Spring 2009, pp. 163-164
Through her extensive study, Jonette Lancos rectifies the historical neglect of modern dance pioneer and Nebraska native Charles Weidman. Perhaps overshadowed by the greater attention accorded his partner and collaborator Doris Humphrey, with whom Weidman established the Humphrey-Weidman Company and School, Weidman has not been the focus of a critical biography until now. Without denying the importance of Humphrey's influence, Lancos seeks to examine other influences on Weidman's work and to explore his individual achievements.
Lancos begins with an overview of Weidman's career, framed by excerpts from his essay written as a ninth-grader in Lincoln, Nebraska. Then Weidman's family history is documented, from his ancestors' background to his parents' arrival, meeting, and marriage in Lincoln. Weidman's family alternated between life there and the Panama Canal Zone, where his father was appointed fire chief.