Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What I'm Reading: Apollo's Angels

Apollo's Angels is six-hundred-plus pages of ballet history, and managed to keep me engaged throughout. That alone tells you it's a well-written and interesting book.

Jennifer Homans discusses the history of ballet from its beginnings as a courtly art in 17th century to the great dancers and choreographers of the 20th century. Through it all, ballet was shaped by the events of modern European history: politics, war, and especially the rise of communism.

As a dancer -- an aged, decrepit dancer, but a dancer nonetheless -- it was fun to read about the long and fascinating history that I'm a part of every time I go into the studio. And the next time we do a reverence at the end of class, I'll do it with more, well, reverence.

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