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Books On Ballet


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8 replies to this topic

#1 SanderO

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:10 AM

If this topic has been discussed please delete this thread. If not here goes.

What are your favorite books about ballet?
Which are your favorite autobiographies of dancers?
Which biographies do you recommend?
Are there any books that focus on choreographers, perhaps even comparing and contrasting them?
What are the best books about the history of ballet?
Are there books for "newbies" (as opposed to those for hard core addicts thirsting for detail)?
Are there any collections of ballet reviews in print? If not would reading this be of interest?

Would a bibliography "sticky" of ballet books be something that BalletTalk should include?

#2 innopac

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:40 PM

If this topic has been discussed please delete this thread. If not here goes.

What are your favorite books about ballet?
Which are your favorite autobiographies of dancers?
Which biographies do you recommend?
Are there any books that focus on choreographers, perhaps even comparing and contrasting them?
What are the best books about the history of ballet?
Are there books for "newbies" (as opposed to those for hard core addicts thirsting for detail)?
Are there any collections of ballet reviews in print? If not would reading this be of interest?

Would a bibliography "sticky" of ballet books be something that BalletTalk should include?


A "sticky" of ballet books is a wonderful idea. Or maybe two - one for biographies/autobiographies and one for everything else?

Perhaps Sander0's idea would get more discussion if the thread was moved to the Forum "Writings on Ballet"?

#3 LiLing

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:15 PM

Some of my favorites, a purely subjective list:
Autobiography
Theatre Street, Tamara Karsavana
Dance to the Piper, Agnes DeMille
Dancing in St. Petersburg, Mathilda Kschessinska
Irina, Ballet life and Loves, Irina Baronova
Early Memoirs, Bronislava Nijnska
Chance and Circumstance, Twenty Years With Cage and Cunningham, Carolyn Brown

There are so many biographies of dancers, especially contemporary ones that I wouldn't know where to start. The last one I read, Margot Fonteyn by Meredith Daneman, I found a page turner, though maybe not one I'd recommend in terms of quality.

Collected Criticism
Arlene Croce, Edwin Denby, and Deborah Jowitt are my favorites. They each have at least two collections published.

And finally, a must have for dance lovers,
Reading Dance, edited by Robert Gottlieb subtitled "A Gathering of Memoirs, Reportage,Criticism, Profiles, Interviews, and Some Uncategorizable Extras"

This book is a feast of various writings on a wide range of dance.

#4 sandik

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:53 PM

I'm a big fan of Theater Street as well.

I'd add Robert Greskovic's "Ballet 101" to the list, and for a general history of dance, Susan Au's "Ballet and Modern Dance." And Marcia Siegel's anthologies of dance criticism, especially for her thoughts on Twyla Tharp.

I'd also add Siegel's "Shapes of Change," an analysis of American dance that includes several wonderful descriptions of American ballets.

#5 Helene

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:59 PM

To the list so far adding:

Striking a Balance, Barbara Newman, a superb collection of interviews
In Balanchine's Company: A Dancer's Memoir, Barbara Fisher
Dancing into the Unknown: My Life in the Ballets Russes and Beyond, Tamara Tchinarova Finch
Repertory in Review, Nancy Reynolds

#6 sandik

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:51 AM

Repertory in Review, Nancy Reynolds


Tangentially, I got a very clean copy of this on ebay earlier this summer, for around $15 plus shipping. And I am a very grateful girl.

#7 SanderO

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:07 PM

Mods,

I am gratified that the thread is getting responses. Of course there must be hundreds if not thousands of titles about ballet. To make this useful I would suggest that the suggestions be limited to perhaps 3 books in whatever categories are established and could we get something like a poll or a numerical indication of how many others recommend the book. This would actually function to sort the list most popular first.

Of course this doesn't mean the survey would include the best books or even if it did, show as them as most popular. The value to me of such a survey is that I could think of no other collection of ballet fans that I trust more than the members of this site to guide me to books on ballet.

Can we have this for a back to school present?

#8 sandik

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:57 PM

Can we have this for a back to school present?


Oooh, nice idea. We usually just get special pencils.

#9 Helene

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 06:56 PM

I can't believe I didn't list "Lynn", Lynn Seymour's memoir.


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