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The Making of Markova

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Hi Sandik. I was delighted to find it at my local library, and just finished reading it. I found it to be a wonderful read. It's very long, something like 623 pages of text, plus bibliography and notes, etc. But since I love that period of ballet history, it's like dessert for me. Previously I didn't know much about Markova beyond the standard stuff, and this book REALLY goes into depth; I felt I knew her as a friend, almost, when I was finished. The author gives a good sense of her personality, character, family influences, etc., as well as her ballet life. And there is a great deal of information about her partners, particularly Anton Dolin, choreographers, other dancers, her friendship with Alexandra Danilova, teachers…..let's just say that if you're fascinated by the Ballet Russes, or the founding of British Ballet, you shouldn't miss this book. I notice that some folks who reviewed this book on amazon mentioned that they didn't like the admittedly quite large amount of quoted material in the book, excerpts from reviews, letters, etc., but I actually felt that those added a great deal to the book--you aren't getting only the author's take on Markova, but that of many other well-informed people of the time. The material on Anton Dolin was particularly interesting to me as I had the incredible good fortune to have him as a ballet teacher in college. He was hired as a "guest lecturer" in ballet at Indiana University in the early 1970s, and he used to come in for a few weeks each semester. We were all rather in awe of him. He gave a very hard class which built a lot of stamina; we would do barre, and then he would have us repeat the whole barre in center floor, and then we'd do regular center work! He certainly was quite a mixed bag for Markova, though. The book left me wishing so much that I could see her dance…...

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