Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet

where snowflakes dance and swear.jpg
where snowflakes dance and swear.jpg

Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet

25.00

In a scuffed-up studio, a veteran dancer transmits the magic of an eighty-year-old ballet to a performer barely past drinking age. In a converted barn, an indomitable teacher creates ballerinas as she has for more than half a century. In a monastic mirrored room, dancers from as near as New Jersey and as far as Mongolia learn works as old as the nineteenth century and as new as this morning.

A bestselling, prize-winning author steps into this world as a total outsider, spends a year in rehearsals, classes, meetings, auditions, and performances, and comes away with a tour de force. This thrilling panoramic exploration of the unique realm he dubs the Land of Ballet reveals the work behind the art in all its dailiness and frustration, generosity and triumph—and considerable drama.

Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear zooms in on an intimate view of one full season in the life of one of America’s top ballet companies and schools: Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet. But it also tracks the Land of Ballet to venues as celebrated as New York and Monte Carlo and as seemingly ordinary as Bellingham, Washington and small-town Pennsylvania.

Never before has a book taken readers backstage for such a wide-ranging view of the ballet world from the wildly diverse perspectives of dancers, choreographers, stagers, teachers, conductors, musicians, rehearsal pianists, lighting directors, costumers, stage managers, scenic artists, marketers, fundraisers, students, and even pointe shoe fitters—often in their own remarkably candid words.

Shattering longstanding die-for-your-art clichés, this book uncovers the real drama in the daily lives of fiercely dedicated union members in slippers and pointe shoes—and the musicians, stagehands, costumers, donors and administrators who support them. Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet brings readers the exciting truth of how ballet actually happens.

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