Cover image for Cynthia Gregory dances Swan Lake
Cynthia Gregory dances Swan Lake
Gregory, Cynthia.
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Publication Information:
New York : Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1990.
Physical Description:
43 unnumbered pages ; 29 cm
Text and photographs follow leading ballerina Cynthia Gregory on the day she dances Swan Lake.
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GV1785.G713 A3 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Text and photographs follow leading ballerina Cynthia Gregory on the day she dances Swan Lake.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. The world of the ballerina springs to life in this first-person photoessay; American Ballet Company's Cynthia Gregory describes a day in which she is to dance Swan Lake at the Met. While adults may feel her arrogance more than children, Gregory comes across as a prima donna as well as a prima ballerina. There's not much humility here, though she is always gracious to the little people, including her fans--"Exhausted as I am, I am also gratified that these people have come to compliment me on my performance." Future dancers, however, will be caught up in the glamour of Gregory's performance, and should be equally interested in the rougher parts of her day; practice sessions continue even after a dancer has reached her status, while rehearsals, costume fittings and other odds and ends take up enormous amounts of time. The color photographs (and black-and-white pictures from Gregory's youth) are a highlight and are worth the price of admission alone. The beauty of ballet is that it looks so effortless; this book shows how difficult that seeming ease is to achieve. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

``A ballerina always looks like she is completely in control and could go on dancing forever.'' Gregory, throughout her long career one of the most distinguished American dancers, is well equipped to qualify this illusion and explain her preparation for the Odette-Odile role in the classic Swan Lake . Aided wonderfully by Swope ( Baryshnikov at Work ), a ballet institution herself, Gregory surveys a day's activity preceding performance, reviewing many details of interest to young balletomanes (``I am still nervous before a performance, even after decades of performing''). Clear, simple and pragmatic, Gregory's text ably serves the curious. In some cases, though, pictures are bound to tell the story best--as when the star's feet are coaxed into toe shoes far from glamorous, the feet show a remarkably primitive strength that is the means of its own transformation into onstage delicacy. Likewise, shots of Gregory making up are memorable for their candor and exoticism, proving that the ballerina is always a creature of beauty and artifice. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-- One day in the life of the prima ballerina of the American Ballet Theatre is detailed in this readable, straightforward, but bland photodocumentary. As Gregory rehearses, tries on costumes, puts on her makeup, fixes her hair, secures her pointe shoes, and finally leaps onto the stage to dance the roles of Odette-Odile in Tchaikovsky's classical Swan Lake , readers witness the dedication and hard work as well as the glamour and excitement of being a ballerina. Swope's lively, full-color photographs are well placed throughout, greatly enhancing the text. Gregory offers a brief glimpse of her childhood, highlighting the roots of her inspiration to become a professional dancer. To familiarize readers with this magical ballet, she includes a synopsis of the story. Similar in scope but for younger readers is John Harding Martin's A Day in the Life of a Ballet Dancer (Troll, 1985), which follows New York City Ballet's Heather Watts as she moves through a day. For generating enthusiasm and delight in the world of dance, stick to Jill Krementz' A Very Young Dancer (Knopf, 1976). An attractive addition where ballet books are in high demand. --April L. Judge, Thousand Oaks Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.