Posted 02 April 1999 - 06:32 PM
*The Young Dancer ( Darcey Bussell contributed) is very informative and clear for young dancers without being patronizing. Good for girls under 12 who are ballet obsessed!
*Margot Fonteyn's autobiography is very good. But I'm not done reading it yet! It may be kind of hard to find.
*Karen Kain: Movement Never Lies. An autobiography. This is my #1 favourite book. I've only seen her perform once and I do admire her but I didn't buy it because I was a huge fan at the time, it was just on sale. But she gives such good insight on the hardships of the dancing world, with deep reflection on the joy and passion of performing. I *highly* recommend this to anyone. It's inspiring.
*Kimberly Glasco ( profiles of Canadian dance). I really thin, small book i found in the library. It's only 30 pages and I must stress very small and softcover. But it was written in the 80's in the earlier years of her career and had some good quotes and photos.
There's more but I can't really remember the titles and authors. But here are some titles I want to read, and if any of you have could you please reply:
~Marakova: the Legend by: Leonard Maurice
~Advice for Dancers by: Linda Hamilton
~The NYC Ballet Workout by:Peter Martins
~The Dancer's Body book by Allegra Kent
~Classical Russian Technique by:???
~MissO- My life in dance by: Betty Oliphant
Posted 03 April 1999 - 03:13 PM
I began my reading with "The Romantic Ballet in Paris" by Ivor Guest; I was inspired (by Alexandra) to read this when I couldn't come up with one answer to the Quiz on POB. Finding the book was the biggest challenge; reading it was an education. It covers a mere 30 years of ballet history, starting with 1827; though the book is crammed with dates and a lot of French terms/names it moves swiftly, a tribute to Guest. Ballet in those days was something quite different than today. "Romeo & Juliet, the Love Story in Dance" by Nancy Ellison was a lot of pretty pictures and nothing more. "Dance Writings and Poetry" by Edwin Denby was beyond me, as I mentioned in another post. Some of his articles were of great interest, but many more concerned facets of ballet that I don't understand. Maybe some day. Darcey Bussell's "Life in Dance" was light reading; interesting though she wrote more about celebrity life than I wanted to know. "Frederick Ashton and His Ballets" by David Vaughan was excellent. I wish I had read it before I read "Secret Muses" by Julie Kavanagh; the former concentrates on his choreography (with tons of photos) and would have made a good introduction to the 2nd, which is broader and covers not only his life but the lives (and gossip) of those with whom he worked. I'm now whizzing through "Let's Go On" by Wayne Johnson, a book celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pacific Northwest Ballet. This caught my eye mostly because of Olivier's posts; informative.
[This message has been edited by Giannina Mooney (edited April 03, 1999).]
Posted 03 April 1999 - 07:03 PM
Posted 17 April 1999 - 08:58 AM
[This message has been edited by Giannina Mooney (edited April 17, 1999).]
Posted 17 April 1999 - 09:36 AM
"Sleeping Beauty" isn't a love story, it's about dynasty. (My absolutely favorite Sleeping B quote is from Danilova: "Princess must be little bit snitty." Aurora hasn't "gotten her man." She's dancing at a formal court wedding with her predestined consort.
I meant that kind of thing. Several reviewers have pointed this out; I mentioned it because I couldn't let a new generation of Auroras look at the ballet that way without a caution.
p.s. Juliet throwing up isn't a very classical attitude, either, although that is a matter of opinion, rather of fact. In my opinion, "classical" ballet isn't supposed to be realistic. There's an artifice, a distance, an objectivity. If MacMillan wanted them to worry about whether they'd vomit the sleeping potient, it's his ballet and he can do it. But Aurora doesn't get her man.
Posted 20 April 1999 - 04:58 PM
My ballet library is rather extensive - as for myself I am very fond of bios. But for the serious student of ballet there are two books which in my opinion are excellent, sensible, straightforward and to be warmly recommended. They are:-
1. "Ballet - from the first plie to mastery -
an eight-year course".
2. "Both sides of the mirror: the science and art of ballet".
Both these books are written by Anna Paskevska who once was my fellow student with Madame Cleo Nordi in London. As Ms. Paskevska points out: "There is a straight line from Vestris-Bournonville-Johansson-Legat-Nordi". It cannot be purer than that. These books should also be read cover to cover by parents of dance pupils.
Then of course, we have the old "Basic principles..." by Vaganova. An oldie, but still holds good - illustrations, though are plain awful.
Posted 20 April 1999 - 05:43 PM
I also recommend a book mentioned by Alexandra called "Dance is a Contact Sport" by Joseph Manzo which is a gossipy book (a bit hard to find) about NYCB in the seventies. Lots of Gelsey Kirkland bits. Good light ballet read.
I quite like the Steven Caras Balanchine picture book and just ordered an out of print Caras book on Peter Martins from Amazon.com. I've been trying to track it down for years.
I did not enjoy "Tributes" as much as many of you. I wish they'd come out with a book similar to that of Lincoln Kirstein's "New York City Ballet".
Posted 20 April 1999 - 11:25 PM
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