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books or magazines for boy dancers

Guest happycc

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I'm afraid that it's such a small niche market that it's unserved by itself. But the general magazines, Dance Magazine and Pointe are very good. While there are books about all sorts of men, and tons of stuff about ballerinas written for girls, there is no children's book about a famous premier danseur that I know of.

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"Born to be Wild" was concocted for TV about four danseurs from ABT. It's viewable by younger children, but they might not "get" a lot of what is going on, with the studio sequences, and the finished work.


I must confess complete ignorance of the Ballet For Boys video.

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The Ballet for Boys video is a vido presented by Richard Glasstone, a former teacher for boys at The Royal Ballet Lower School. It is basically an explanation of how to "coordinate the basic building blocks of ballet in a unique series of exercises that include: bending, extending, rising, jumping, turning, and darting." (Quote from the video cover) My son watched the tape and found it to be a bit boring, as it really is just what it says. There is very little actual dance. Perhaps if I had bought the tape when he had first begun dancing three years ago, it would have been more beneficial.


If you are looking for tapes to stimulate a boy's interest, I would say that certainly the Born to Wild tape is a good one. I think even better are the ones that my son loves watching - Baryshnikov at Wolf Trap, Bujones Winning at Varna, Bujones In His Image, and ABT Now. Actually, the whole family likes those.


Have fun.

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There are a lot of books about male dancers on the market, but nothing specifically geared to young boys. Could you be a bit more specific as to what you are actually looking for, ei. age, photography, technical manual, literature, entertainment etc.?

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Guest PAmom

Books for boy dancers:


"Oliver Button is a Sissy" by Tomie dePaola is a good book for young boys in dance. The character Oliver Button is actually a tap dancer but the theme of loving dance despite less than supportive peers is the theme. It has a warm and fuzzy ending.


"Dancing to America." by Ann Morris is now out of print but can sometimes be found used. The photos are of a teen in his classes at SAB and touches on his family and their move from (I believe) the Soviet Union. Nice photos and a boy any age would be inspired by this book.


Our local library's children's department also had an old book with a title similar to "A Very Young Dancer" that featured a boy growing up in the performing arts. I can remember he was in a musical theatre production "The Fantastics" but most of the photos were of him in his ballet class. I am always looking for books like this at used book sales.


t :grinning:

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My older son's favorite videos when younger were The Children of Theater Street, FAME, the Backstage at the Kirov, the Glory of the Kirov, and Bolshoi videos, Born to be Wild. He also liked the following "in 15-minute doses" (his words): any of the Finus Jhung teaching videos, David Howard's class videos, and the Ballet Dictionary, and Ballet Floor-Baare w/Nicole Vaas, and ABT's recent version of Le Corsaire. (...a really odd mixture of stuff, I think...)


Other than those already mentioned, there are not many other books with a lot of photos of young boys. However, one good one is "The Students of Ballet Tech" (Eliot Feld's school). There are several books from England and Canada too, that show either NBC or Royal Ballet kids(teens) doing different steps--both boys and girls.


But my boys both enjoy the big coffee table books the best. There are several for ABT and NYCB. Also, PNB, SFB, several Russian companies, etc. My 13-year-old also likes the Oxford Dictionary of Dance (the recent Debra Crane version), just to thumb through, and Gretchen Ward Warren's big technique book.


My suggestion: Ebay is a good source. And check the used book stores, constantly. Though few will be children's books, it's amazing how much you can find. I assume you've already gone through the children's sections of the library. In our small town, the library has a lot of books that are now out of print.

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About 25 years ago, there was an ABC After School Special called "A Special Gift". The story is about a farm boy with a secret passion for ballet, who is forced to choose between a starring role in The Nutcracker and a mandatory high school basket team practice.


The film won a pile of awards including the Peabody Award and a blue ribbon from the American Film Festival. It's available on videotape, but not sure who sells it.


(Mel: I'll admit I cross-posted this on the men's forum, but thought it needed to be added here. Feel free to delete it if you don't agree)

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I'm not a parent, but I'd like to add a book to the list if that is ok!


It is "A Proper Little Nooryeff" by Jean Ure. It is about a teenaged boy who has to pick his younger sister up from ballet class. He gets enlisted to partner a girl in the ballet school production, and discovers that he has a talent and passion for ballet.


It is aimed at teen readers. Unfortunately it is out of print.

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About 25 years ago, there was an ABC After School Special called "A Special Gift". The story is about a farm boy with a secret passion for ballet, who is forced to choose...


Just out of interest, was this a PBS special? Possibly, dancer Jeffrey Gribler, currently ballet master at Pennsylvania Ballet?


Thank you for the information if you are able to answer! :wub:

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I don't think so -- this was ABC, and the format for video in those days was all U-matic - a lot of nice things were made on it that never got transferred to other formats. Jeff Gribler was already a soloist at Pennsylvania Ballet in 1979. He always looked like a kid, but he was already clearly an adult by that time. After School Specials used to air on school days at about 4 PM. They were usually pretty good.

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