cover image The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life

The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life

Sarah L. Kaufman. Norton, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-24395-6

Is it possible to glide through the modern world with ease? Smartphones are destroying our posture, athletes are more muscle-bound than ever, and even ballerinas rely on eye-catching tricks over artistry. In her wide-ranging search for grace, Kaufman (Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic for The Washington Post) often holds up the polished icons of the past to exemplify "the unexpected glimmering thing that happens, so subtly that no one else might notice." Cary Grant, that "beautiful mover," is her guide: well-dressed, funny, and able to make others feel comfortable. But when Kaufman turns away from the actor%E2%80%94to a dance class for Parkinson's patients, for example%E2%80%94she carves out new ways to look at movement. Her observations of the human body (she eyes everyone from roadies to the Obamas) encourage the reader to tune into the small, everyday moments of alignment. And to pull up YouTube to witness the old-fashioned grace of Olga Korbut, Dr. J and, yes, Cary Grant. (Nov.)