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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: Ballet Beautiful


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Hey everyone! I was just wondering if anyone has read this book, Ballet Beautiful. I just started it last night and it's excellent! I can't wait to get the workout video that comes with it!

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I read it, once. For those who might not know, Ballet Beautiful is essentially a ballet workout book developed by a former dancer, for people who might not necessarily have ever taken a ballet class. I would compare it to the NYCB Ballet Workout DVDs, only it's a book with an attached DVD. The author is Mary Helen Bowers. Natalie Portman used it in preparation for Black Swan. I'm not sure how much that means, though, as I'm not sure how much dancing she actually did...I have no interest in the movie.

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I have the Ballet Beautiful book and 2 dvds, but have not explored the exercises or dvd yet. I read the book, and it seems decent. The diet advice is sound, the motivation bit is logical, and the exercises also look great - though I honestly have a hard time seeing how someone who has never taken ballet will be able to execute some of these movements correctly/effectively without guidance. Perhaps the dvd is more explanatory. As for Black Swan and Ms. Portman, it's amazing to see the dramatic difference/transformation in Ms. Portman's body during the film. Of course, we wouldn't have the luxury of working with Ms. Bowers everyday the way Ms. Portman did, but it is still interesting to know that her body was a result of Mary Helen Bower's advice and training at the time. It was a great film, and despite the heated debates about how much actual dancing Natalie Portman did (or did not), one can't deny that her coach helped Natalie's leotard-clad body to at least look the part in a room full of lean yet sylph-bodied athletes.

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  • 1 year later...

Never read the book, but I've done two of the videos and liked them a lot. There are a lot of similarities to real ballet movements in the exercises (as opposed to other "ballet body" workouts), and the trainer obviously knows what she's talking about (she was in NYCB for ten years).

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