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Apollo's Angels: A History Of Ballet

Apollo's Angels: A History Of Ballet [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Homans
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"The only truly definitive history of the most impossibly fantastic art form, ballet . . . an eloquent and lasting elegy to an unlasting art."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"A delight to read, massively informed yet remarkably agile . . . The story of ballet offers a singular perspective on the evolution of our culture: a fascinating mirror on the arts. Nowhere is this narrative told more amply and compellingly than in Jennifer Homans's triumphant "Apollo's Angels.""--"The Washington Post"
"Here is a book of immense ambition--a one-volume history of ballet--and of considerable accomplishment. Jennifer Homans, whom we know primarily as "The New Republic"'s provocative dance critic, shows herself to be both dogged and graceful as a historian--a rare and welcome combination of qualities."--"The New York Review of Books"
"Intellectually rigorous, beautifully written, brilliantly structured."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
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"Magnificent . . . [a] monumental w

Product Description

Apollo's Angels is a major new history of classical ballet. It begins in the courts of Europe, where ballet was an aspect of aristocratic etiquette and a political event as much as it was an art. The story takes the reader from the sixteenth century through to our own time, from Italy and France to Britain, Denmark, Russia and contemporary America. The reader learns how ballet reflected political and cultural upheavals, how dance and dancers were influenced by the Renaissance and French Classicism, by Revolution and Romanticism, by Expressionism and Bolshevism, Modernism and the Cold War.

Homans shows how and why 'the steps' were never just the steps: they were a set of beliefs and a way of life. She takes the reader into the lives of dancers and traces the formal evolution of technique, choreography and performance. Her book ends by looking at the contemporary crisis in ballet now that 'the masters are dead and gone' and offers a passionate plea for the centrality of classical dance in our civilization. Apollo's Angels is a book with broad popular appeal: beautifully written and illustrated, it is essential reading for anyone interested in history, culture and art.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10700 KB
  • Print Length: 674 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812968743
  • Publisher: Granta Books (3 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQYS7J6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,302 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is indeed "a history of ballet". The chapter on Europe titled "The British Moment" is a joke. In it the author writes about the ENTIRE post-war EUROPEAN ballet!!! Americans are usually ethnocentric and this is proof of their cultural limitations. She is also quite dismissive of Maurice Bejart. Funny because MacMillan's "Rite of Spring" is hardly innovative or original after you watch Bejart's created a few years before. Post-war European ballet was a lot more fruitful than what is shown in her narrative. And actually so was British ballet. She totally ignores "Ballet Theatre". Funny because post-war ballet is "ballet theatre" all over Europe AND the US. The chapter on New York ballet is almost exclusively dedicated to ABT and NYCB. Bad, terrible. The really innovative American choreographers of the 20th century are totally ignored -Nikolais, Twarp, Cunningham, etc. An easy to read (an easy to sell) book, but hardly a definitive history of ballet. Considering that Americans and Brits don't translate much, and never did, there lies many more histories of ballet in other European languages which are a lot less ethnocentric than this one! Learn languages! Your choice. Alternatively a MUCH BETTER survey of Ballet since the 16th century is offered by a much better professional historian - Susan Au - "Ballet and Modern Dance"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book if you like classical dance 4 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you love ballet and you are interested in it's history, this is the book for you. It's a big meal to digest in one go but can be read in sections. I am reading bits again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Hisory of Ballet Book 29 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Delivered before the stated date, and in excellent condition, my daughter loves the book, but it is not realy for a 12 year old
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 20 Jan 2012
By Lo0101
Great book, very comprehensive, about how ballet was developed throughout time and countries. I recommend it to all ballet lovers interested in how ballet was created.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ideal read for my two left feet 18 Jun 2012
apollo's angels a history of ballet by jennifer homans I admit i have seen a handful of operas on TV but never seen a ballet at all so knew nothing about ballet but aware of who margot fontyn had been interesting and concise ballet lovers guide from origins of ballet in 17th century french court dance through to the nineteenth century with its early swan lakes and giselle leaps and jumps and on to Russian ballet and a large section on modern dance a beginning for me recommend to fans
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