19 March 2009

A Child's Introduction to Ballet

by Laura Lee
Illustrations by Meredith Hamilton

ABC Books. Children’s Non-Fiction. Hardback with CD rrp $24.95

As a child I went to the Barbara Cuckson’s Ballet Class held in the canteen of the 3M factory at St Marys every Saturday morning - to study my plies, pirouettes and positions. When my mother took me to the Opera House to watch all the ballerinas dancing to the most beautiful storytelling music, I imagined where the world of ballet would take me. Unfortunately my two left feet never helped me get very far!

A Child’s Introduction to Ballet is a book ballet-loving young girls (like I once was!) will cherish. It is also a book which will have a strong appeal to adults remembering their childhood dancing classes.

The information packed into this book may take a while to read, in between your stretching and pointes. But you can travel seamlessly from page to page anywhere you like. Each double page is a story on its own with wonderful illustrations or photos to accompany them. There are snippets of interesting information throughout the book. Did you know that a ballerina named Marie Talioni was so popular that after her last performance a chef cooked her ballet slipper and her most devoted admirers ate it?

The most popular dances are included along with information about famous ballerinas and the history of dance and you can learn some ballet steps. And to help you along you can listen to the appropriate piece of music from the CD to match the particular dance you are reading about.

A wonderful gift for young ballerinas to introduce them to the world of ballet. A wonderful gift to the “older” ballerinas who just want to know more, or close their eyes and remember how it felt when they dreamed of being the next Margot Fonteyn.

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