Non-Fiction (View all)
The Everyday Dancer is a new and honest account of the business of dancing from a writer with first hand experience of the profession. Structured around the daily schedule, The Everyday Dancer goes behind the velvet curtain, the gilt and the glamour to uncover the everyday realities of a career in dance. Starting out with the obligatory daily 'class', the book progresses through the repetition of rehearsals, the excitement of creating new work, the nervous tension of the half hour call, the pressures of performance and the anti-climax of curtain down. Through this vivid portrait of a dancer's every day, Deborah Bull reveals the arc of a dancer's life: from the seven-year-old's very first ballet class, through training, to company life, up through the ranks from corps de ballet to principal and then, not thirty years after it all began, to retirement and the inevitable sense of loss that comes with saying goodbye to your childhood dreams.
This is a book which would make the most wonderful Christmas present for an aspiring dancer or any young person with an interest in Ballet. Deborah Bull, now the author of several books and Creative Director of the Royal Opera house, was a principal with the Royal Ballet in the 1990s; a contemporary of the likes of Darcy Bussell and Viviana Durante. In this volume she draws a clear and vivid portrait of a dancers everyday life, from class, to rehearsals and performance, from first beginnings through retirement, covering the expected areas like diet and injury, with the inclusion of many interesting details such as how it feels when the half hour call is given, and the many and various strange rituals each pair of pointe shoes is subjected to before being fit for use. While the life described is that of a dancer within a very big company, this is a useful and practical guide, and should be recommended reading for any student who hopes to make ballet a career. Extremely practical, it is not a book for the general reader, who is more likely to be interested in the personal or the anecdotal, and while Deborah’s aim is not to retail her readers with tales of sylphs having to hurdle obstacles in the wings etc etc, I would have like to have seen at least one chapter devoted to temperament and mental toughness, and more especially to artistic interpretation. It’s very British.