Ballet in Motion: A Three Dimensional Guide to Ballet for Young People

Craig Dodd, Author, Shirley Soar, Illustrator Lippincott Williams & Wilkins $15.95 (14p) ISBN 978-0-397-32257-2
Dodd's brief overview of ballet technique, history and repertoire is an accurate, eye-catching introduction to ballet for the young. Technical instruction begins with explanations of ballet's five positions (illustrated with a pop-up barre and four dancers), and goes on to discuss more advanced steps and combinations, some of which are also depicted with pop-ups. The author then traces ballet's lifespan from the court of Catherine de Medici to Lincoln Center, and concludes with plot summaries of five ballets ( The Sleeping Beauty , Swan Lake , La Fille Mal Gardee , Apollo and The Nutcracker ) . An explanation of toe shoes, so fundamental to the art, should have been included by Dodd, the author of 14 previous books on ballet. The book, by its format of brief paragraphs that do not necessarily require a chronological reading, obviously is not intended as a a match for the lavishly illustrated retellings of ballet stories now available or a genuinely practical guide for ballet students (illustrations show positions, not movements, and the text is not useful alone). But Soar's delicately tinted watercolors show ballet's grace more than its physical drama. Ages 7-11. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
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