Cover image for The ballet book : learning and appreciating the secrets of dance
The ballet book : learning and appreciating the secrets of dance
Ellison, Nancy, 1936-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Universe, [2003]

Physical Description:
261 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1788 .E55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Provides photographs of members of the American Ballet Theatre demonstrating positions and includes discussion and photographs of classwork, rehearsal, choreography, and major ballets.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This coffee-table volume documents via pictures and words the dancers of the venerable American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in class, rehearsal, and performance. To a fledgling balletomane, the beautiful 200-plus images reveal much about ballet, such as the fundamental positions, the sequence and structure of a ballet class, variants in artistic quality and expression among dancers, and the role of choreography. An experienced photographer of dance, Ellison (Romeo and Juliet: The Love Story in Dance) offers black-and-white and color shots that invite close study and will most certainly result in readers learning and appreciating dance. The cut-and-dried text by freelance writer Rubin, on the other hand, disappoints because it does not significantly add to the information one gleans from the photographs themselves; the same information is replicated in introductory volumes on ballet (e.g., Kay Ambrose's The Ballet-Lover's Companion). A significant portion of the text is dedicated to synopses of traditional ballets in ABT's repertory (e.g., Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet), but the reader interested in these classic works is better served by a host of readily available titles, including Balanchine's Complete Stories of the Great Ballets. This is an optional purchase for small public libraries and academic collections, but large public libraries may want to consider for the photographs.-Joan Stahl, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Kevin Mckenzie
Forewordp. 7
Introductionp. 9
Begin with a Dreamp. 13
Starting Out
Positionsp. 21
A Selection of the Fundamentalsp. 25
Classworkp. 39
Before Classp. 45
Shoesp. 47
Stretchingp. 51
Training Health, and Injury Preventionp. 57
At the Banep. 59
Center workp. 73
Jumpp. 81
Rehearsalp. 91
Linep. 95
Delicacyp. 101
Elevationp. 103
Consistencyp. 105
Musicalityp. 107
Expressivenessp. 109
Amplitudep. 111
Dynamismp. 113
Staging a Balletp. 117
Choreographyp. 127
Valentine by Lar Lubovitchp. 133
Collaborationp. 137
Settingp. 143
Gong by Mark Morrisp. 145
Partneringp. 147
The Touring Lifep. 155
Performancep. 157
Preparingp. 163
The Virtuoso Dancerp. 169
The Bravura Dancerp. 173
The Noble Dancerp. 177
The Adagio Ballerinap. 183
The Allegro Ballerinap. 187
Character and Mimep. 191
The Balletsp. 197
Gisellep. 201
La Bayaderep. 207
The Sleeping Beautyp. 215
Swan Lakep. 219
The Nutcrackerp. 223
Don Quixotep. 225
Le Corsairep. 227
Grand Pas Classiquep. 235
Apollop. 237
The Prodigal Sonp. 239
Diana and Actaeonp. 241
The Dreamp. 243
La Fille Mal Gardeep. 245
Romeo and Julietp. 251
Oneginp. 255
Manonp. 257
The Leaves are Fadingp. 259
Farewellp. 261
A Prima Ballerina Retires