The holiday season is upon us…cue the panic! So whether you’re finding gifts for friends and family, need suggestions for your wish list, or just want to cozy up with a good book, here are our top 5 ballet reads.
Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet
by Jennifer Homans
For over four hundred years, ballet has stood at the center of Western civilization. Its traditions serve as a record of our past. Apollo’s Angels is the first cultural history of ballet ever written. From its origins in the Renaissance and the codification under Louis XIV of France, to the twentieth century that has seen a new and radical transformation of dance, this book is a must-read.
Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins
by Amanda Vaill
To some, Jerome Robbins was a demanding perfectionist, a driven taskmaster, a theatrical visionary; to others, he was a loyal friend, a supportive mentor, a generous and entertaining companion and colleague. In this biography, Amanda Vaill, takes full measure of the complicated, contradictory genius that was Jerome Robbins.
Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today
by Simon Morrison
The Bolshoi has survived 250 years of artistic and political upheaval to define not only Russian culture but also ballet itself. From its disreputable beginnings in 1776, to the 2013 acid attack that resonated far beyond the world of ballet, Simon Morrison gives an incredible account that demonstrates once and for all that, as Russia goes, so goes the Bolshoi Ballet.
Celestial Bodies: How to Look at Ballet
by Laura Jacobs
As much as we may enjoy Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, for many people, ballet is a foreign language. It communicates through movement, not words, and its history lies almost entirely abroad.. In Celestial Bodies, dance critic Laura Jacobs makes the foreign familiar, providing a lively, poetic, and uniquely accessible introduction to the world of classical dance. This book combines history, interviews with dancers, technical definitions, descriptions of performances, and personal stories!
A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back
by David Hallberg
You may have already heard us talk about this book before, but we can’t help it, it’s so good! Written by School of Ballet Arizona Alumnus David Hallberg, this memoir will give readers a personal and powerful look at the deep physical and mental challenges artists must endure to pursue their passions.