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 Post subject: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2001 10:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Two new fiction books reviewed that use ballet subjects for their theme:<P><B>Birds of a Feather</B><P>'Flight of the Swan' by Rosario Ferre and 'White Swan, Black Swan' by Adrienne Sharp <BR> <BR> <BR>Reviewed by Laura Jacobs<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>When classical ballet beams into popular consciousness, it is always due to a phenomenal dancer. Ballet stars are vivid metaphors for their time, forms of energy that capture the mass imagination. But who can say what sort of spiritual, sexual, neuromuscular and emotional transaction is behind the burning energy seen onstage? Taking on -- or taking off from -- the actual lives of dangers, two new works of fiction attempt to tell us.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61394-2001Jun28.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2001 10:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 126
Location: USA
Thanks for the reviews, Stuart. Have you actually read either of these yet? They sound rather bizarre to me. The most recent ballet fiction I've read is Granny Dan. I love ballet books and am always interested to hear of new ones. Any suggestions, anyone?<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2001 11:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Image <P>Another review:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Dancers of 'White Swan, Black Swan' Drown in a Lake of Cliches</B><BR>WHITE SWAN, BLACK SWAN Stories, By Adrienne Sharp, Random House, $21.95, 225 pages<P>The world of classical ballet--a world that is both rarefied and prosaic--is difficult to render realistically in literature or film, and easy to exaggerate, caricature or simply get wrong. Many attempts to re-create the world of dance call to mind Susan Sontag's definition of "camp" as "seriousness that fails."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-000059144jul20.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dliving" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2001 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Interestingly enough I just came home from the library where I volunteer and while driving home I was trying to think of any really good fiction books with ballet as the landscape for the book and dancers as the subject.<P>There is Phantom of the Opera - for the opera. But how about the ballet? <P>I couldn't think of any. Anyone else think of any?<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited July 20, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2001 4:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 478
Location: ITALY
This has just reminded me of a novel I have had for years, called simply BALLET! by Tom Murphy.<P>It must be old (yes, I've just looked: 1978), as it is about a male Russian defector, and an American Ballerina, and is a ballet/spy story with murders by the nasty Soviets...<P>A bit of literary fluff, basically, but the description of Giselle is interesting in it's way. <BR>'The role of Giselle is to ballerinas what Hamlet is to actors: the ultimate challenge. And Giselle's mad scene is unusually challenging for a ballerina because it is almost all acting, with very little dancing.'<P>Loads more about Giselle of course, but too much to write out here.


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2001 3:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1638
Location: London UK
I must have read a number of ballet novels over the years and almost all were totally forgettable with only two exceptions. One was a book called “Alexandrovitch is Missing”, a story about a defecting Russian dancer which was set against a background of the student riots in Paris in 1968, but the chief character wasn’t altogether convincing.<P>However I would recommend “A Chance to Sit Down” by Meredith Daneman. Daneman was a former dancer and it is very apparent as her account of the lives of dancers in the 60’s/70’s really rings true. The story is about a young dancer who leaves her glamorous lover, the company's leading dancer, to marry a stage designer. After the birth of her child she goes back to the ballet but starts to suffer from the conflicts of family versus career and the temptation of her ex-love. The book is an accurate account of life in a ballet company and it was also very well written. It was adapted for television, but as so often happens it didn’t work too well as a telly drama.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2001 3:18 am 
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Canada
<A HREF="http://www.panix.com/~twp/dance/faq_4.htm" TARGET=_blank>This site</A> has a crazy long list of dance-related books. Scroll down or click the text link at the top "Reading List". Includes ISBNs.

_________________
~Sarah~<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2001 5:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Sarah - what a wonderful resource! Thank you so much!<P>I was disappointed to see that Dance Europe Magazine was not included on the list of periodicals - unless I missed it. I looked twice and didn't see it. Maybe someone else should check.<P>However, Dance Europe Magazine is certainly one of the most beautiful publications I have ever seen devoted to dance.


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2001 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Image<P><BR>Diana Postlethwaite reviews Rosario Ferre's book <I>Flight of the Swan</I>:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>'Flight of the Swan': A Ballerina Stranded in Puerto Rico<P>Diana Postlethwaite, NY Times<P>... For her new novel, ''Flight of the Swan,'' Rosario Ferre has borrowed Oliveroff's title, leading lady and historical period. But Ferre has set her version of the great dancer's story in her own homeland, Puerto Rico, and taken as her worshipful narrator an emigree named Masha, a peasant from Minsk who manages to become a dancer in the corps de ballet and serves as general factotum to the imperious, impetuous woman she addresses simply as Madame.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/29/books/review/29POSTLET.html?searchpv=day07 target=_blank>More</a><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet in fiction - 2 new books
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2001 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
And an excerpt published in the NY Times:<P><a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/29/books/chapters/29-1stferre.html target=_blank>'Flight of the Swan'</a><BR>ROSARIO FERRÉ


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