"Ballet was never just a set of physical exercises or positions.
It was always a set of beliefs,
an aspiration to nobility,
an aspiration to the extraordinary,
to the ‘merveilleux’.
It was a way of life. And it is today a connection to the past,
a direct connection, both to Louis [IV] and to Marie Taglioni,
and to the worlds that they lived in.
It is a living, moving history.”
There are many books, both fiction and non-fiction, where the author has taken classical ballet as their subject. I’ve reviewed quite a few of them for Ballet News over time, and my choice here represents my absolute must-have reading. It didn’t even take any debate – they are all outstanding in their own right.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a ballet student, a professional dancer or if you just enjoy a good performance – these books will make you smile, let you into a secret or two, dispel the myths about ballet (especially backstage) to keep it real, and generally entertain you through crisp, mellow Autumn, into snowy Winter and beyond.