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Ballet Talk for Dancers
dancingmeghan

Books: About technique?

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dancingmeghan

I read a book at a Borders in Minneapolis about 2.5 years ago on ballet technique. It went through the steps and positions and how you should feel and execute them by drawn pictures, in the mind imagery and the specific muscles (by their proper names). I can't remember who the author was or even the title of the book. I do remember that it was a paperback and around 5"x8". I kick myself in the toosh everyday for not buying the book that day because when I went back it was gone. Does anybody know of a book that fits this description?

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Victoria Leigh

Might it have been Basic Principles of Classical Ballet, by Agrippina Vaganova? It is a small paperback book, and the cover is sort of brown, with a pink dancer figure, upper body, in swan costume.

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rg

except for the format size, which in the case of the book noted below is larger than 5x8, could this be the book you mean?

it's been reissued by Univeristy Press of Florida in paperback. the scheme consists of crisp line drawings with clearly defined muscles, if not necessarily by individual names.

 

THE CLASSIC BALLET; basic technique and terminology. Historical development by Lincoln Kirstein. Descriptive text by Muriel Stuart. Illus. by Carlus Dyer. With pref. by George Balanchine.

New York, Knopf, 1952

 

if you search amazon (or any other book sites) for 'classic ballet' and 'kirstein' etc. you should find descriptions of this book, which might help you decided if this is what you recall seeing.

 

if you rem. covers. the first paperback ed. was mint green with a black line drawing on it; more recent ones have a closed, red, theater curtain. since 1952 this publication has had the same scheme: a strongly horizontal format design overall to show the steps proceed across the various spreads.

 

there are a number of these books on amazon, both hard-cover and softcover, used and new.

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Toadette

I've just ordered a book from Amazon called: 'Inside Ballet Technique: Separating Anatomical Fact from Fiction in the Ballet Class'. The description of it sounded like what you described. Might be worth checking out.

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vrsfanatic

A Vaganova manual would never use the correct anatomical names of body parts, so you can take those books off the list. :shrug:

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beyondthebarre

You're probably thinking of Inside Ballet Technique - separating fact from fiction. It's a Vaganova based book by Valerie Grieg and is excellent.  There are a few awesome books, but here are some of my faves:

  • Classical ballet technique by Gretchen Warren - an excellent resource
  • Basic PRinciples of Classical Ballet - this one is hard to read, it's by Agrippina Vaganova, and I don't agree with everything in the Vaganova school or everything she taught about the body (particularly what is safe to do with it, and what is damaging) but it's still a good resource to begin understanding her method.
  • John White has 2 books on teaching ballet, they're both great
  • Anything by Eric Franklin is going to be on point(e). He's a dancer turned dance therapist, and does a lot with visualization and muscle release. 

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vrsfanatic

beyondthebarre, this post is over 10 years old. Thank you for your list. Thankfully, I have all of these books.

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