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Still point
Weisgall, Deborah.
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New York : Crown Publishers, [1990]

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Arts journalist Weisgall has set her first novel in the dance world, laying bare the supposed glamour and camaraderie. Star ballerina Caroline Harbison, sidelined with an injury she tried to ignore, must watch ingenue Rosalind Child temporarily take her place in the spotlight with Alexander Ives, the leading male dancer and Caroline's lover. Behind the scenes, Alexander struggles with the control exerted by director Achille Perrot over both the company and the repertoire, torn between his devotion to the older man and his need for expression as a choreographer. Further complicating the dancers' lives are the favors and demands of the patrons, in particular the politely devious Sumner Loewen, who oversees the company's finances and development, and the unstable Eveline de Charny, whose appetites are stronger than her ability to control them. As the different plot lines twist around each other, a few of the characterizations seem weak or formulaic, but there is also plenty of individuality to keep the reader engrossed. The strong core of the book is Weisgall's delineation of the process of creating dance and the drives within each dancer to participate in it. --Susan Nelson

Publisher's Weekly Review

What a delight to find that the showy cast of this titillating, gossipy roman a clef , set in the tiny world of New York's fictitious Perrot Ballet, includes no sulky prima ballerinas. Instead, the major drama spins around aging dance master Achille Perrot, a classic autocratic and exacting artist, and his impatient lead dancer, Alexander Ives, who covets the choreographer's crown. Meantime, Alexander's on- and offstage partner, Caroline Harbison, a dancer mainly beautiful in motion, unhappily watches her longtime lover drift toward a pretty, jejune ballerina recently elevated from the corps. Stage left is Perrot Ballet patron Eveline de Charny, a rapacious dilettante whose debauched father shares her interest in a talented, thoroughly self-destructive male dancer. Arts journalist Weisgall aptly captures the hunger of the dancers and the hangers-on, and laces her stagy, yet smoothly told, commercial debut with wry humor. As a front-row seat on the rivalries and sheer hard work that lie beneath the beauty of Swan Lake , it's pure satisfaction. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This intensely told tale of a New York ballet company could have used a stronger plot and a soupcon of frivolity. The subject of this first novel by a respected arts journalist is the power that's up for grabs when a major corps de ballet prepares to lose its master choreographer to a fatal illness. A talented choreographer who lacks the genius of his predecessor plays with the affections of the two prima ballerinas. Meanwhile many of the characters play around with drugs and with each other, interchangeably. The author is skilled at describing interiors, but the people who live in them never come to life. Preferable are arts novels with a lighter touch, such as Michael Levin's Settling the Score (LJ 4/1/89) and Edward Stewart's Ballerina (LJ 1/79).-- Joyce Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.