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Subject: "Best ballet books II" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2658
Reading Topic #2658
Bruceadmin

23-04-02, 07:55 PM (GMT)
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"Best ballet books II"
 
   LAST EDITED ON 23-04-02 AT 07:57 PM (GMT)


What a very popular topic and nice to have so very many contributions.

The original thread is though now at least 3 times longer than normal and it's well overdue to have a companion thread - so new contributions and responses here please. Ta

Link to original thread:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2605.html


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Best ballet books II Fiona 24-04-02 1
     RE: Best ballet books II Wendy Glavis 25-04-02 2
         RE: Best ballet books II Helen 25-04-02 3
             RE: Best ballet books II Wendy Glavis 25-04-02 4
                 RE: Best ballet books II Helen 25-04-02 5
                     RE: Best ballet books II Robert 25-04-02 6
                         RE: Best ballet books II Odette 26-04-02 7
                             RE: Best ballet books II Wendy Glavis 26-04-02 8
                             RE: Best ballet books II Odette 26-04-02 9
                             RE: Best ballet books II vivian2 29-04-02 10
                             RE: Best ballet books II Kevin Ng 30-04-02 11
                             RE: Best ballet books II Viviane 30-04-02 12
                             RE: Best ballet books II vivian2 30-04-02 13
                             RE: Best ballet books II alison 30-04-02 14
  Useful out-of-print books website? alison 01-05-02 15
     RE: Useful out-of-print books website? Helen 01-05-02 16
         RE: Useful out-of-print books website? Jim 01-05-02 17
             RE: Useful out-of-print books website? trogadmin 04-05-02 18

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Fiona

24-04-02, 12:38 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #0
 
   There's a great ballet story on the internet for all of you who enjoy ballet books! I've already read it, but I heard it's being put up again starting this week.

The web address is: http://users.rcn.com/wjglavis/

It's called 'Ballet and the Blitz'and,although it's fiction,a friend of the author's,Sylvia Haydn,was a soloist with a London ballet company during the war and has provided lots of background information.

By the way, Wendy J.Glavis is the author,you've probably read some of her postings on this website.


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Wendy Glavis

25-04-02, 00:05 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #1
 
   Oh wow, Fiona, thanks for the plug!

I've loved a lot of the books discussed on the first book thread, but would like to mention a few more.

Split Seconds, by Tamara Geva, is maybe the most readable; most of it is about Tamara's struggle to get into the famous Theatre School in St Petersburg (her Father didn't think much of their academic standards - and a career as a dancer wasn't quite the thing) and there's lots about the difficulties of surviving after the revolution. But it's also a moving account by someone who really, really wanted to dance...and finally achieved her ambition.

Another favourite of mine is Mathilde Kschessinskaya's Dancing in Petersburg, though I always come away from it thinking what a very boring life I lead. She was mistress of Nicholas II before he became the Czar, afterwards had two Grand Dukes as lovers (and married one of them) and was the first Russian ballerina to do 32 fouettes (such was the applause on one occasion that she did an encore). She had a FABULOUS collection of jewellery, escaped from Russia with some difficulty after the Revolution, danced with Diaghilev - but without much success (a little too old and her style had gone out of fashion). She ran a ballet school in Paris (Margot Fonteyn took lessons there occasionally) and died at the age of 99.

A final recommendation is Roland John Wiley's Tchaikovsky's Ballets, which is full of interesting information about early productions of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker. (It's also good on Bayadere.) Not a book for reading on the beach, though.


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Helen

25-04-02, 08:01 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #2
 
   I enjoyed reading "Ballet in the Blitz", Wendy. It's a period I'm interested in, and in fact I once started a book - well, a short story - about it myself. I never finished it, though.

"Dancing in Petersburg" is very interesting - I only discovered it recently. There was a novel called "Ballerina" by Lady Eleanor Smith (about 1950) that I was totally addicted to in adolescence - it wasn't a children's book - but I have never seen a second hand copy. It told the story of an English girl who was transformed into a "Russian" ballerina, and was very atmospheric.


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Wendy Glavis

25-04-02, 03:25 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #3
 
   Thanks very much for the kind words, Helen. (And there are 16 more chapters to go!) However, if you get bored with the story - or pushed for time - you can always look at the 'Dancer Remembers' section where I'm putting up different (short!) bits about the period, as explained to me by my friend, which talk about pointe shoes, a dancer's day, salaries, what a panatrope is, 'hot black' etc etc etc. There'll be a new bit each week.

Re The Ballerina...I might be able to help you there. I have several friends who cannot pass an Oxfam (or similar) shop without going in to look at their book section and they're always giving me books about ballet. And I'm almost certain I have an extra copy of The Ballerina - which would have cost almost nothing. If so, I'd be delighted to send it to a good home. I'm not in the country at the moment, but will be soon, so I'll let you know if you're interested.

(And maybe it's time to get out that old manuscript.)


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Helen

25-04-02, 04:01 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #4
 
   That's really kind of you, Wendy, but I have actually still got my 50 year old copy of "Ballerina", tattered, stained and literally falling to bits! I mentioned that I hadn't ever seen it second hand because I thought other readers might be interested in it, but not be able to get hold of a copy.

I'm looking forward to the next instalment. I could never make mine long enough. It's awful being a frustrated writer!


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Robert

25-04-02, 05:42 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #5
 
   No one has mentioned 'A Bullit in the Ballet by Carol Brahms and S.J Simon. In its day a very popular book and I believe an early Penguin. Carol Brahms was of course a very respected writer on ballet.


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Odette

26-04-02, 09:03 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #6
 
   Wendy, I'd love a copy, I was wondering where I could find one and I'd give it a very good home!!


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Wendy Glavis

26-04-02, 04:36 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #7
 
   It's yours, Odette. Just let me check that I've actually got it (!)and then I'll e-mail you to discuss delivery.


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Odette

26-04-02, 06:49 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #8
 
   Thanks, that's really sweet of you.


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vivian2

29-04-02, 09:55 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #9
 
  
Does anyone have any ballet books about Patricia Ruanne, who worked so much with Nureyev?


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Kevin Ng

30-04-02, 08:14 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #10
 
   LAST EDITED ON 30-04-02 AT 11:11 AM (GMT)

Coming late to this discussion topic, I like to recommend the three books which are a collection of the writings of Arlene Croce, the great critic of "The New Yorker" from 1973 to 1996 - "Afterimages", "Going to the Dance", and "Sight Lines". I remember that another more recent edition was published last year.

I myself have learnt a lot from Miss Croce's expertly writings. When I first started attending ballet performances in London in the early 1980s, it was a London critic friend who drew my attention to Miss Croce's pieces in "The New Yorker", and I am eternally grateful to him for that.


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Viviane

30-04-02, 09:07 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #10
 
   You'll find a splendid & long conversation with Patricia Ruanne in the recent "Dance Now" - Spring 2002. "Keeping Dance"


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vivian2

30-04-02, 09:21 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #12
 
   Dear Viviane,

Thanks for info on P. Ruanne.Shame Dance Books left Covent Garden .It was so useful to have a browse from time to time.Do you know of any other ballet bookshops in Covent G --or london area?

Viv


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alison

30-04-02, 01:29 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Best ballet books II"
In response to message #13
 
   As far as I'm aware, Dance Books was the only specialist dance bookshop in the world (I'm sure they used to keep getting people ringing from the USA and suchlike to find books).


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alison

01-05-02, 01:18 PM (GMT)
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15. "Useful out-of-print books website?"
In response to message #0
 
   Reading through the paper this morning, my eye was caught by a book that I'd very much enjoyed as a child (did anyone else read the story about turning the Royal Albert Hall into a giant jelly mould? - I think of it virtually every time I look at the building now!), and in it I found a recommendation for http://www.alibris.com
It sounds as though it might be worth investigating if you're looking for out-of-print books, although I can't personally vouch for it.

In fact, I've just been and had a look, and it's got over 500 dance books listed at:

http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?chunk=25&skip=0&wtopic=dance

Don't spend all your money!


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Helen

01-05-02, 02:04 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Useful out-of-print books website?"
In response to message #15
 
   Thank you for that, alison - I could easily become broke quite quickly!

My children had "The Great Jelly of London" - was that its title? - and I agree that the name sticks. That is exactly what the Albert Hall looks like.


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Jim

01-05-02, 02:53 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Useful out-of-print books website?"
In response to message #16
 
   LAST EDITED ON 01-05-02 AT 02:57 PM (GMT)

One of my favourites is undoubtedly The Diaghilev Ballet 1909-1929, written by Serge Grigoriev, Diaghilev's régisseaur. Written in a sort of diary form it chronicles the ups and downs of the Ballets Russes throughout its history.
Now well out of print I'm afraid (I was bequeathed my copy), but can be found in dusty corners of performing arts libraries.

I've just noticed there are three copies available (all for about $12) on the website quoted above by Alison. I would say that was excellent value!


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trogadmin

04-05-02, 07:57 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Useful out-of-print books website?"
In response to message #17
 
   I love "Bluff Your Way In Ballet" by Francis Coleman. This is the original bluffers guide, not the inferior rehash by Craig Dodd that is currently available. The original has sound advice on "Would You Want Your Son To Be A Ballet Dancer?", "How To Handle Ballet Mums" and gems such as ballet is good business for florists.

Also very useful is "How To Enjoy The Ballet Without Really Trying" by John Cargher. If anyone knows of a copy going keep in Blighty can they please let me know as mine was borrowed never to be seen again.

Runners up would have to be "The World's Greatest Ballets" by John Gruen (plot lines the big ballets) and "The Magic Of Dance" by Margot Fonteyn.


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