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Dancing Away [Paperback]

Deborah Bull
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (14 Jun 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413739007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413739001
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 745,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The personal journal of Deborah Bull, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, written during the year of Covent Garden's closure, as she and the company "danced away" on world tours. This paperback edition includes a new "Encore" section that extends her witty diary into the early months of 1999.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
As a Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet, Deborah Bull fights off the image of the stereotypical female dancer by putting her entire skill as dancer and writer into this exceptional book. Dancing Away follows Deborah around the world for her various performance as Covent Garden is revamped and the Company faces homelessness at more than one stage. Written with wit, experience and intelligence, Deborah Bull gives a true insight into the scenes behind the glamourous life that is often portrayed on stage and the normal reality for dancers as citizens of a rapidly-changing country and world. If you buy one book remotely connected with dance, buy this one, you will certainly not be disappointed. Even for the ballet-phobes out there, this is a book to be devoured, due to its focus on everyday life behind a glamourous cover. Miss Bull certainly isn't a 'dumb dancer'. Far from it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, enjoyable and compulsive reading! 24 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Dancing Away charts a year in the life of the author, a principal dancer of the Royal Ballet during a particularly turbulent period in its history with the temporary closure of its home -The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Deborah Bull, a classically beautiful dancer proves to be an incredibly witty, fluent and intelligent writer, qualities displayed throughout this book. Dancing Away flows extremely well, notwithstanding the fact that it is written in a diary format. Through the experiences of the author, the reader begins to feel something of the commitment involved in maintaining the level expected of a professional ballet dancer. The constant routine of training and rehearsal, and of the pressures of life on tour become evident, compounded in the author's case by the fact that her partner also seems to be constantly on tour!
The author tells of her experiences behind the scenes which provide a suprising account of the politics that bubble beneath every Swan Lake. Deborah Bull is not afraid to challenge the bureaucrats who threaten to choke the art of ballet, labelling it 'an elitist art form.' Every issue is tackled with clear and well-balanced debate.
Dancing Away does not develop into a political soapbox however, but maintains its witty account into the world on and off stage of an experienced ballerina, including her involvement in the launch of her book 'The Vitality Plan' (aka Totally Fit) and her promotional work for Rolls-Royce.
Dancing Away is a thoroughly entertaining and recommended read for the seasoned balletomane or simply the curious. (can't wait for the sequel!)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
If, for a moment, you might have thought that ballet dancers were people who simply plied and pirouetted their ways through life, Deborah Bull's year-in-the-life account will disspell that myth. While a major part of Deborah's life is clearly driven by her role as principle dancer in the Royal Ballet, the book gives a look into the rest as well; her fascination with politics and its effects on the arts and the Royal Opera House, her relationship with boyfriend and physiotherapist to the Rolling Stones, Torje, and the many other parts in her exhaustingly hectic lifestyle.
Dancing Away's diary approach compelled me, I find nothing better than feeling I'm inside someone's head. Deborah is clearly one of life's observers and her writing style, witty and astute.
If like me, you dream of dancing, but have arms that sag in second position and execute pirouettes as if you were a ball on a pinball table, I would really recommend this book. Its probably as close as your going to get to spending a year as a world class principle dancer without the need for any of the skill or dedication.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with great humour! 17 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Deborah Bull's fascinating diary is...well, fascinating! It's funny, well written and informative. Watching the author perform will never be the same again! The book makes you feel almost honoured, because it is as if you are being admitted into the dancer's life. It is incredibly witty and I received some peculiar glances as I laughed out loud whilst sitting on a London-bound train. If the author ever reads this review, then I would like to take the oppurtunity to say: May I suggest that you seriously consider a second career in writing? (Of course, she must finish her Ballet career first!) Everyone should read it! Although the politics confused me sometimes, as a thirteen-year-old, I would still reccommend (in fact, I demand!) that everyone, I repeat, everyone, buys this book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read... 11 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on
I totally disagree with gafield@dimellashaffer as I found this book interesting and enthrawling. As an aspiring ballet teacher I was deeply captivated by Deborah Bull's intelligence and maturity. She shows that ballet dancers need to be intelligent people (contrary to popular belief). The period of time that this book was written was a particulary crucial moment in the history of ballet in not only London, but all over the world and I found her telling of this trying time facinating and captivating.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dancing where? 22 Mar 2002
By "" - Published on
I found this book very dull and a chore to read. I have read serveral books by dancers that have had me enthralled about the experience of dancing for a living. Bull seems to lack the fervor typically expected from someone is a field renowned for heartfelt passion.
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