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re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By greb Comments: 3, member since Fri Dec 14, 2007
On Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:44 AM
Soldiers of Beauty is a book of poetry about ballet but it's good. It also has drawings of dancers to accompany the poems.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By step_at_a_timemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 303, member since Fri Aug 31, 2007
On Fri Dec 28, 2007 05:00 PM
Non-fiction.
I bought myself "Inside Ballet Technique" by Valerie Grieg, for Christmas... just finished reading it, and I really liked it!
I'd imagine it might not be liked but some traditionalists... it contradicts the anatomical possibility a few things that are often taught (or aimed for) ...
But overall I found it very accessible whilst not being too basic.

A technical manual of the muscles/joints etc involved in ballet movements... not a dictionary or demonstration of ballet steps or positions.

Explains the anatomy and physiology behind dance movements.. and common problems or errors.
Diagrams. Line drawings of anatomy and positions, not dance pictures.
Quite a bit of emphasis on imagery/visualisation of movements and a shift in approach rather than technique per se.
(e.g thinking about lengthening the hamstring rather than contracting the quads... use of opposing muscles. That "pulling up" often really means pulling down the lower back because it cannot pull up anatomically speaking, but doing that lengthens the spine.)

I wish I had this book 15 years ago!
Had many "Oooooooh! I get it now!" moments.
I can't know if it is all accurate and correct. It says she was a ballet dancer who later studied kinesiology.
But when I just tried applying some of the things I read, it felt instantly different and I think I have a better understanding of what was limiting me in some things and little things I was getting wrong. (That my teacher would try to correct with "pull up" and other abstract or vague statements that never seemed to produce the right changes in me! No big criticism of the teacher, seemed to work for most pupils. This book is much more specific.)

I feel like I have a better understanding of the processes and mechanics going on in my body when I dance.
I intend to read this over and over and possibly make flashcards of particularly relevant parts! :D

It is quite a compact, thin book. Not a tome.
But packed full of information. Very little in the way of waffle.

Perhaps more suited to older teens or adult dancers? Or we nerdy, academic, technical, science types! :P
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By dreamdancer10 Comments: 191, member since Mon Jun 04, 2007
On Fri Jan 18, 2008 09:37 AM
Edited by dreamdancer10 (180384) on 2008-01-18 09:39:08
Edited by dreamdancer10 (180384) on 2008-01-18 09:39:42
Here are some I really enjoyed...

Dancing Through Fire- by Kathryn Lasky
Kathleen: The Celtic Knot- by Siobhan Parkinson
A Company of Swans- by Eva Ibbotson

There are more, but I can't remember the names. Dancing Through Fire and The Celtic Knot are in the childrens section (they have chapters, like 200 pages long) but they are very good. Dancing Through Fire is what inspired me to restart ballet and the Celtic Knot is a good Irish dance read. A Company of Swans is in the young adult section, and I have not yet completed it but it is good so far. Enjoy!

Edit: I don't know if anyone has posted these before...
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By DotDotDot Comments: 60, member since Thu Jan 10, 2008
On Sun Jan 27, 2008 05:22 PM
Thanks for this! I love Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone and A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By KaptainKlancymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 276, member since Sat Jan 05, 2008
On Sun Jun 01, 2008 07:29 PM
"Dancing Through Fire"
"Marie, Dancing"

These two take place in the Paris Opera Ballet during the 1870s and the Prussian War. Not from the same series, merely similar.

I'm reading "Dancing on My Grave" right now, and I'm really loving the way Ms. Kirkland writes.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By foydancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 388, member since Fri Jun 17, 2005
On Thu Jun 05, 2008 02:42 AM
Ballerina by Edward Stewart.

It's about the life of a corps dancer for a Company in NYC. I loved it. It is an adult book though I read it when I was around 16.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By Atanuamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 171, member since Wed Jun 04, 2008
On Mon Aug 04, 2008 02:04 PM
Non Fiction

"Dance in its time" by Walter Sorell
There is also a german version available (Kulturgeschichte des Tanzes). The book is about dance history and rather hard to read. Up to date I read the first 5 chapters...But I will definitely buy it for christmas, because I am afraid that it is going out of print. And I have to read it.

- " A leap into madness" by Peter Ostwald.
Bigraphy of Nijinsky, very interesting to read.
German title is "Ich bin Gott, Waslaw Nijinski,Leben und Wahnsinn"

Fiction
- "The golden shoes" by Vicki Baum
Germna title is "Die goldenen Schuhe"
It is a novel about the life of a ballerina...Love it.
Unfortunately this is out of print, maye you can get it in antique book store or on ebay.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By dancinislife0607member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1422, member since Sun Apr 16, 2006
On Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:44 PM
RulerOfTheArts wrote:

Hi there. Responding to the above two posters, I have a good recommendation for the more adult crowd. It's called "First Love" written by Adrienne Sharp. This book is lovely, but is definitely for adults because it is explicit at times, and deals with many mature issues in the ballet world, as well as mature topics. Hope that helps!! :)


I loved this book! But yes, it is definitely adult. I probably shouldn't have read it last summer (I was 13) but I did, because it was one of the last dance books in my local library that I hadn't read yet. ;)
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By greb Comments: 3, member since Fri Dec 14, 2007
On Wed Jan 07, 2009 01:06 AM
the melting season by celeste conway is a good teen and up book-- very well written.
a new ballet children's book is Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By Laura_Dncr4Life Comments: 36, member since Wed Dec 31, 2008
On Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:30 PM
Dancing Through Fire-Kathryn Lasky
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By dancer_aimyXomember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 962, member since Wed Oct 15, 2008
On Fri Feb 20, 2009 09:00 AM
Very good post :D
thanks
Ill get reading
some karma for your help


Aimy
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By dancefreak365 Comments: 39, member since Wed Oct 01, 2008
On Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:38 PM
I like the books Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone
-Katie's Angels by Suzanne Weyn
-Christina's Dancing Angels by Suzanne Weyn

These are awesome books that I have read multiple times.
Enjoy!
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By maureensiobhan Comments: 4729, member since Wed Dec 24, 2003
On Sun Apr 26, 2009 09:52 AM
I've read, and can recommend, Joan Brady's autobiography "The Unmaking Of A Dancer". In it, she speaks of her experiences with the fierce, backbiting jealousy and competition among the advanced students at the San Francisco ballet school and at SAB, being able to deal with having a long section of a major ballet thrown at her and another student at the last minute, the changes Balanchine made to the jumping technique, and of her being a late restarter. She also speaks of how one SAB student's father got her into the NYCB by paying off Balanchine.

Years ago, I read Gelsey Kirkland's "Dancing on My Grave". I read it once-ONCE. That was enough. All she did from page 1 to the final page of the book was whine.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By jewlianalisa Comments: 24, member since Wed Jun 03, 2009
On Thu Jul 16, 2009 03:13 AM
I have and I enjoyed it. a quick read aimed at teens.

Also I loved on point by lori ann grover, so much so that I used it for a speech and debate competition piece on year.

As for a company of swans, I am having a hard time finding motivation to keep picking it up, but i'll see.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By maureensiobhan Comments: 4729, member since Wed Dec 24, 2003
On Thu Jul 23, 2009 07:02 PM
Two Silouette Romance novels I read back in the 80s are "Firebird" by Margaret Ripy and "Dance of Dreams" by Nora Roberts. Unfortunately, these novels and Joan Brady's autobiography "The Unmaking of a Dancer-An Unconventional Life" have been out of print for some time.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By novicedancer1991member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1455, member since Fri Aug 28, 2009
On Thu Oct 22, 2009 04:45 PM
Does anyone know of a fictional book about an irish dancer that is a teenage reading level?

I like "Kathleen:The Celtic Knot", it's about an Irish dancer in Ireland in the 1920s. And although I've never read them, I know of two Irish dance series (Liffey Rivers, Kaylees Choice) but all of those are for pre-teens.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By distracteddancer Comments: 36, member since Mon Jun 15, 2009
On Fri Dec 11, 2009 08:52 PM
Last Dance is one too
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By dancestar88551 Comments: 20, member since Fri Oct 02, 2009
On Sun Jul 11, 2010 06:54 PM
im not sure if this book is on here but it is one of my favorite books ever! it is a childrens book though;p I got it when I was at a dance competition when I was little and I read it almost every day;p
its called The Magic Ballet Slippers by Nick Ellsworth
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By Atanuamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 171, member since Wed Jun 04, 2008
On Mon Jan 10, 2011 03:42 PM
One of the most important theoretical works in ballet history!

Noverre's "Lettres sur la danse et les ballets" (1760)
Content /Opinion:
Noverre explains in fourteen chaptres his thoughts on the design of ballets, the necessary knowledge a choreographer should have, the current ballets, choreology etc.

His theoretical work is responsible that the ballet did not get stuck in senseless divertissements which were so common in this time, but could evolve into the ballet d'action which has actually a storyline and where instead of the costumes the dancers body expresses the emotions.

Letters were a common medium during Noverre's time to share your thoughts with the public, and as the readers are directly adressed it seems as Noverre is suddenly in the room, talking too you. Even if his letters may sometimes appear as a rant to todays readers it may interesting for you to see how people wrote at this time. Personally I think that Noverre wrote very keen and vividly, and as he had quite a sharp tongue some parts were really amusing.

Certain problems for the readers may arise with Noverres references to ballets of his time, as for most ballets data about the choreography got lost forever. Also there are references to mythology or other artists, and you have to look it up. I think the latter is no advantage as you learn a lot from it.


Original editions:

Title: Lettres sur la danse et sur les ballets, par M. Noverre, Maître des Ballets de Son Altesse Sérénissime Monsieur le Duc de Wurtemberg

Online photographs and scans of the whole book are available.

Photographs: Online Edition Bibliothek Wolfenbütteler
Scans: Online Editions Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris

These online editions are only understandable if you are really fluent in french and have knowledge of the vocabulary at this time (1760!)


Available Modern Editions :
English:
Letters on Dancing and Ballets. Translated by Cyril W. Beaumont.
London, 1930; Reprint New York, 1966/1975; Reprint Alton, 2004.

French:
Lettres sur la danse. Présentation de Maurice Béjart.
Paris, 2006. ISBN 2-7475-9862-4.

German:
Jean Georges Noverre, Briefe über die Tanzkunst. Neu ediert und kommentiert von Ralf Stabel.
Henschel Verlag, Leipzig 2010.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By ihath Comments: 2, member since Tue Aug 09, 2011
On Thu Aug 11, 2011 04:15 PM
Thank you for the comprehensive list
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By BG1 Comments: 21, member since Fri Apr 13, 2012
On Sat May 05, 2012 04:06 PM
Rumer Godden has written a couple:

Thursday's Children
Listen to the Nightingale
Pippa Passes
re: The Ultimate Guide to Dance Related Books #2!!
By camymac_dancer Comments: 96, member since Sun Jul 01, 2012
On Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:10 AM
Thanks for making this list! All of these are going on my Christmas list!!!!!! By the way, I love the book 'Dancing on the Edge!'
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