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Books: A Day in the Life

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What books on ballet do you know that are basically in the style of "A day in the life of..." Of course, they don't actually have to be a day in the life of a dancer, but rather boks that tell of the daily life of dancers (rather than a list of a certain dancer's accomplishment, a history of ballet, an analysis of a work, etc...) - I guess kind of in the style of Winter Season. Either ficton or nonfiction ideas would be appreciated.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, this is a childrens' book and maybe not what you are looking for, but Cynthia Gregory's "Cynthia Gregory Dances Swan Lake" is definitely a day in the life of this dancer as she prepares to perform that evening. It has color photograph illustrations. Very well done, and even though for children, *I* enjoyed it, too (and I'm mostly grown up these days.)


It's published 1990 by Simon & Schuster as a "Time of My Life" book.

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  • 3 years later...

This weekend I was in an old bookstore and picked up a copy of "Winter Season." For anyone who is familiar with this book, published in 1982, I think, I have to ask - is there anything out there that's similar but less depressing? Are the lives of dedicated ballerinas who love the art really this lonely and removed from the rest of life? Also, I haven't researched yet myself, but does anyone know what became of the author, Toni and what she is doing now? This was a sobering read. And the Coke and cigarettes - aren't dancers more health conscious now? Is there any book out written by a dancer who tries to give first-hand reality checks about this world that indicates this choice of dream will not tear up an emotional life by age 25? Anything factual but also inspirational?

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I am reading Dance Is A Contact Sport by Joseph Mazo. It was written in the 70's and is a factual account of NYCB during the season 1972-1973 (I think). To me, it captured quite well the professional life of these dancers from financial, emotional, physical perspectives. It also narrated the interpersonal dynamics among different departments that support the enterprise (costuming, accounting, lighting and props departments; dancers, choreographers).


I am on the final chapter, and am also looking for another such kind of a book to read.

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In my last post I asked if anyone knew what has become of Toni Bentley, author of A Winter Season. I think I may know why no one familiar with her recent activity may have cared to reply. Now that I learned myself, I think I will not be using Toni Bentley as any sort of role model or provider of dance-related insights for my daughter. Enough said. :ermm:

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Toni Bentley was the co-writer, with Suzanne Farrell, of SF's autobiography, "Holding on to the Air." Many people, including me, love this book. There is nothing objectionable in it. She is a wonderful writer, whose work has appeared more than once in the New York Times Book Review.

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