Toni Bentley, The Surrender, Author, New York Times
Get Tickets for THE SURRENDER - The Clurman Theatre - Jan 8 - Feb 2, 2014

THE SURRENDER is a book that I thought would never be published, perhaps even should not be published not because of the “taboo” sexual subject – there is no subject not worthy of words – but because I did not know if I had managed to capture the crazy beauty of the obsession, the abyss into which I had fallen for over four years. In the midst of the most passionate and unusual love affair of my life – as he plunged into me I felt like a skinless child plunged into the center of a great spinning mystery – I kept notes in the attempt to understand and to survive such perilous desire.

I learned many things: that lust can certainly lead to love but also that I trust lust more than love. This is my failing I am told but it is in keeping with my training as a ballerina who worked every day for over twenty years starting at age four in the attempt to mold my body into an instrument capable of conveying beauty. I do not place any physical experience in life, including sex, as being “beneath” the life of the mind. In fact, I trust the physical more than anything else. It has always been through my body, through dancing as with sex, that I know things most deeply. For me, the physical is metaphysical and finding spirit through sodomy is paradox, sexualized, laced in irony.

That THE SURRENDER became a book, published first in America and then all over the world, and has now become alive again in three-dimensions is proof, if such were needed, that following one’s gut – in my case rather literally – is not just worthwhile, but is the route, however unusual, to true connection. And connection, as E. M. Forster has written, is indeed everything. I connected with this man and now I connect, perhaps, with you.

--Toni Bentley (Program Notes)

Toni Bentley, Author of The Surrender
Toni Bentley
The Surrender, An Erotic Memoir

Toni Bentley - The Surrender - Production Posters
The Surrender by Toni Bentley
The Surrender by Toni Bentley
The Surrender by Toni Bentley
The Surrender by Toni Bentley
The Surrender by Toni Bentley

Long before Fifty Shades of Grey, former Balanchine dancer Toni Bentley offered readers a sensual glimpse into a taboo erotic experience with her daring memoir THE SURRENDER. After premiering in Madrid to several sold-out runs and causing a sensation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, THE SURRENDER is stripped bare for the New York City stage. The story of a woman's sexual obsession, THE SURRENDER tells of a classical ballerina who is seduced into the ultimate act of sexual submission by a sexy stranger. She is overcome and changed forever by his arousing alternative to convention. Based on Toni Bentley's explicit and controversial erotic memoir, THE SURRENDER is "an extraordinary confession by a woman with an axe, and an ass, to grind" wrote Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna.) THE SURRENDER is the witty, profound, and true story of one woman's experience of erotic transcendence.

Contact Michael Wolf for inquiries regarding the rights to THE SURRENDER.

Isabelle Stoffle - The Surrender
Isabelle Stoffle - The Surrender
Co-Adaptor and Actress in Spanish and German Productions
Photo: Nacho Garcia
Actress Off Broadway Production
Photo: Paul Kolnik

Isabelle Stoffle - The Surrender
Isabelle Stoffle - The Surrender

Toni Bentley - The Surrender
Toni Bentley - The Surrender
Toni Bentley - The Surrender


“An eye-wateringly sexy show…so graphic it would make fans of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ blush.”
-- The Stage

“A remarkable sustained piece of writing that belongs to the time-honoured tradition of French intellectual erotica, reaching back to De Sade.”
-- Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

“Toni Bentley is an absolutely elegant writer and ‘The Surrender’ -- so sexy and witty -- exemplifies her unique voice and fearless candor.”
-- Gay Talese

“BDSM ballet with humour and depth….a sensual ritual.”
-- The List

“The shock content is high…the language and ideas are powerful and intelligent, with a lot to say about our human search for paradise.”
-- Ros MacKenzie

Toni Bentley talking about The Surrender

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