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April 17, 2018


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This looks like a worthy ballet book by a talented dance writer.

Volvov's book Balanchine's Tchaikovsky, which consists of lively interviews, shows Balanchine to be a deep student and lover of Tchaikovsky's music. So I'm sure he would agree with Laura Jacobs. My first exposure to his music was probably in Disney's Sleeping Beauty and then Nutcracker. But Tchaikovsky's music is misused by showmen like Bourne. His gothic, vampire SB is free to watch on PBS. His Swan Lake is also entertaining theater but again, the music is disrespected! Yet Bourne can move a narrative clearly forward--something other current choreographers need to work on. Should Bourne leave the classics alone or is he bringing in a new audience for "real" ballet? Can exposure to Bourne cultivate a love for beautiful refined dance over time?

To answer your final question, I would say 'No'. The bastardization of ballet classics doesn't bring new audiences to the art form any more than feeding kids McDonald's french fries tempts them to eat vegetables. If anything, Bourne's adaptations probably drive audiences away from the values of the classics.

Huzzah, my local bookstore! Thank you for the recommendation.

Excellent, Pearl. Why not go on the 8th and get yourself a signed copy?

Thanks for the notice! I've enjoyed Laura Jacobs' articles in the New Criterion for years and will be sure to attend.

Fabulous, Christine.

Sold! Thanks for the review.

Great, Shawn. Frequently while reading this book, I found myself reflecting on Yuriko Kajiya's qualities as a classicist.

Thanks for the advance info, Haglund. I can't be at the signing but will order the book. I've enjoyed Jacobs's articles. If I recall well, she is an enthusiastic fan of Veronika Part.

True, Marta. Veronika is among the many ballerinas mentioned and quoted in the book.

An entire chapter on arabesque--Wow! I ordered the book immediately.

Yes, Angelica, more than a few of us live for our next chance to swoon at a miraculous arabesque. 😸

Maria Kowroski is going to grace us with many this coming week at NYCB,

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