Day 39 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Popular Ballet Novels
The resurgence in interest in ballet stories is probably related to movies like The Company and Black Swan as well as the reality TV programs such as SYTYCD: So You Think You Can Dance and Breaking Pointe. Many ballet stories are for young adults (YA); a few are for mature adults (MA). Please share your comments about any of the listed ballet stories you’ve read or if their synopsis sounds interesting to you. For more extensive synopses look to Amazon or Barnes and Noble online where you will also find reviews and ratings.
1. Dancing on My Grave by Gelsey Kirkland, a dancer (MA)
The autobiography of Gelsey Kirkland. She examines her growing up in the world of ballet and the dark places she traveled through on her way to become a principal dancer.
2. Bunheads by Sophie Flack, a dancer (YA)
A contemporary novel of young dancers who live, go to school, date and dance with other aspiring dancers hoping to be selected by the parent ballet company for a corps de ballet position.
3. Girl in Motion and Breaking Pointe by Miriam Wenger-Landis, a dancer (YA)
Two books in a series about young contemporary dancers striving to become dancers in professional ballet companies (similar to Bunheads).
4. Markova, The Legend: The Authorised Biography by Maurice Leonard (YA or MA)
The story of one of the great dance legends who helped put British ballet on the map.
5. The Crane Dance by Meg Howrey (YA)
A story of competing sisters: their common bonds, dance worlds and lives off the stage. Called ‘funny, dark, intimate and unflinchingly honest.’
6. Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet by Stephen Manes (MA)
An in-depth (800+ pages) look at the Pacific Northwest Ballet organization. Mr. Manes spent one year with total access chronicling dancers, musicians, choreographers, etc.