Thursday, October 4, 2007

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Free preview chapter of Life Behind the Metaphor

For those of you who would like to know more about our new book of Nureyev photographs, Life Behind the Metaphor, you can now download a sample PDF of an entire book chapter.

The chapter, "The Barre," details the ritual and work of professional dancers. Choreographer Rudi van Dantzig writes:

In America, in China, in Holland, In Russia, in Australia; about ten o’clock in the morning all over the world, dancers take their positions at the barre, ready for another dancing day.

From there, hard and strenuous working hours begin. First, there is half an hour barre, then an hour center exercises: adagio movements, turns, balances, small jumps, beats, big jumps, and pointe-work.

When class is finished the dancers usually have a fifteen minute break for coffee, a giggle, or for using the empty studio space to go over some steps for themselves.

People who don’t know anything of a dancer’s profession usually are exhausted from just watching a class, and are astonished to learn that this is just the preparation for the real work, which, if there is no performance, will go on until five or six o’clock. The real work means rehearsing and “cleaning” of old ballets in the repertoire, and the constructing, the searching and the experimenting with a choreographer on a new piece, the next ballet-to-be.

But at the barre it all begins...
Download the sample chapter here. And stay tuned: New, exclusive online chapters—ones available not even in the print edition of the book—will appear soon!

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