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Monday, July 26


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Ballet book recommendations from Moira Macdonald for The Seattle Times.


In contrast, Gavin Larsen’s eloquent memoir “Being a Ballerina: The Power and Perfection of a Dancing Life” (University Press of Florida, $26.95) focuses almost entirely on the details of dance: what those first morning stretches feel like in a dancer’s body, or what it’s like for a young dancer to fall onstage, because she’s “testing the limits she didn’t yet know were there.” Larsen’s ballet career included training at New York’s School of American Ballet, seven years in the corps of Pacific Northwest Ballet in the 1990s and seven years as a principal at Oregon Ballet Theatre until her retirement in 2010. It’s as if she spent those years meticulously recording every sensation; her book, written many years after her dance career, flows beautifully, like a writerly equivalent of muscle memory.


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