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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: The Ballet Companion

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I bought this book for my daughter about three years ago and she loved it and still refers to it often. It is well written and worth every penny. I heartily recommend it and don't think you will be disappointed!

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In my opinion, it's a well written comprehensive book. However, what type of book are you looking for? If it's a ballet technique, instructional type of book, I think Gretchen Wards' book is what I call the ballet bible. If you're looking for a book for adults, I would recommend: "The Joffrey Ballet School's Ballet-Fit" by Allison Kyle Leopold (Author), Dena Moss (Author) "

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I love this book! You can reread it many times and learn something new each time, it really encompasses a huge amount of information, not just on technique but ballet in general.

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Oh, sorry, I did not realize that there was already a thread about this book (this board seems to be organized a bit different than the others...thanks for moving it anyway!). I am not looking for anything specific, I am just a book-lover in general :innocent: But from what I have read here, it sounds rather interesting so I think I put it on my wish-list for my birthday :pinch:

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Yep, this particular part of bt4d is set up differently than the other parts. I found it a bit confusing at first, but then after navigating through it, it all began to make sense. If you're looking for an over-all ballet informational reference book, in my opinion, this is one of the best. Enjoy!

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  • 1 month later...

I've just got this book and I think it has to be the best ballet book I have ever come across. It seems to have everything covered! It's really well broken down and diagrams and photos to keep it visually interesting. I'm going to recommend it to my senior students. :D

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I really enjoyed this book especially the diagrams. The photographs are good also. If its in ballet its probably in this book from what I have seen.

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  • 2 years later...
Guest ReverentDancer

Hi again, everyone. Recently I found a book in this forum called "The Ballet Companion", by Eliza Gaynor-Minden. I searched for reviews online, to see what it was like, but the web only produced the same result; a publisher's review.


Since this site has so many knowledgable people on such topics as this, I was just wondering what it's like and whether it is worth getting a book like this when you're already at an Intermediate level by RAD standards.


N.B. I am very interested in topics such as class etiquette and cleanliness, and other subjects like this (as well as technique, eyeline etc. of course!).



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Hello ReverentDancer, have you looked at the reviews on the amazon website? There are many and most are very good.

I also have this book and would highly recommend it to anybody interested in ballet.

There is a page or two on etiquette (and cleanliness is mentioned as a part of that), and most of that information is also on the gaynor minden website.

There is also a large chapter on technique, with the barre exercises described most thoroughly. I don't understand what you mean by eyeline, maybe where to look?

There is also ballet history and many descriptions of ballets, tips for class, auditions, performances, what to wear etc. and a chapter on health, eating and crosstraining.

Hopefully this was helpful to you!

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I just merged this topic with the existing one. Have a read back through the thread and I'm sure you'll find the answers to your questions!

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Guest ReverentDancer

Thankyou to Tari and Clara76 for your help. I wish I had found this topic before I created my own :blushing: (I did search, trust me!). Both of your responses were very useful to me and I am definitely checking it out very seriously!!! :thumbsup:



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  • 3 years later...

My DD dances ballet and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about something she loves so much. As a non-dancer, I found the book The Ballet Companion quite handy. My favorite thing about the book is there are many beautiful pictures that demonstrate the various ballet positions and orientations. These pictures has helped me to learn some of the ballet terminologies and what each of the positions look like. The book also has a lot of useful information on training, schools, styles and some ballet history. Here is how the book is broken down:


Part One: To be a dancer (selecting a school, class expectations, when pointework begins, summer intensives, competitions


Part Two: Ballet Basics: The different types of major schools of ballet (French, Cecchetti, RAD, Vaganova, Balanchine, etc.), Fundamentals of Technique, Positions and Orientations (as I mentioned the photos are great)


Part Three: Ballet Class: Warming-up, At the Bare, Center Floor, Musicality, All About Pointe


Part Four: The Healthy Dancer, Anatomy, Injury Prevention, Cross Training


Part Five: Ballet Literacy, Must-See Ballet, Historical Time Line, Glossaries, Further Reading, Resources (As a ballet newbie, I loved this section and the suggested resources to look at. I also think BT4D is also an amazing resource!)


This is a great reference to have around. Before DD really got into ballet, I really enjoyed it as an art form and saw a few ballet productions but never really knew anything about the "ballet world." Lately, I've been trying to learn more and it's been so interesting to learn about some of the ins-and-outs of ballet life.


Before, I never understood what is meant by "good technique." I'm still a novice, but I can honestly say that learning more (from books, dvds, talking to people) has helped me to appreciate the fine aspects of the art form much more now. I find ballet productions even more lovely as I'm understanding more about the "architecture" of ballet movement. As a mom, I've enjoyed having DD's ballet life open my eyes to a world I never knew much about. What a privilege to always keep growing and learning about something new...no matter what it is.

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