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The Royal Ballet: 75 Years [Hardcover]

ZoŽ Anderson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 April 2006

In 1931, Ninette de Valois started a ballet company with just six dancers. Within twenty years, the Royal Ballet - as it became - was established as one of the world's great companies. It has produced celebrated dancers, from Margot Fonteyn to Darcey Bussell, and one of the richest repertoires in ballet. This book is a perceptive and critical account of its first 75 years, tracing the company's growth, and its great cultural importance.

The company danced through the Blitz, won an international reputation in a single New York performance and added to the glamour of London's Swinging Sixties. It has established a distinctive English school of ballet, a pure classical style that could do justice to the 19th-century repertory and to new British classics. Leading dance critic, Zoë Anderson, vividly portrays the extraordinary personalities who created the company: de Valois, founding music director Constant Lambert and chief choreographers Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. She records the dancers: Fonteyn, Robert Helpmann and Moira Shearer, mould-breaking artists like Lynn Seymour, golden partnerships like that of Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell, through to stars of today like Bussell, Cope, Cojocaru, Kobborg and Rojo, and guest artists who became part of the company, from Nureyev to Guillem.

Giving full attention to dance style and performance standards, Zoë Anderson will put Royal Ballet repertoire in context, showing its place in ballet history and in the history of British arts. She looks at the bad times as well as the good, examing the controversial directorships of Norman Morrice and Ross Stretton and the criticism fired at the company as the Royal Opera House closed for redevelopment. An indispensable book for all lovers of ballet.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (20 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571227953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571227952
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'Remarkable - a lively and varied tale of endeavour, triumph, relapse and retrenchment every inch as engrossing as Richard Morrison's story of the LSO. Anderson has a simple, lucid style many of us would kill for.' BBC Music Magazine" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Zoë Anderson is the dance critic of the Independent. As a freelance critic, she has written for The Dancing Times, Independent on Sunday and Daily Telegraph. She has a doctorate in renaissance literature from the University of York.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great info 3 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Helped me greatly for my a level dance. Great read, good info, logically set out. Would recommend if you have a interest in ballet
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you a dance teacher 6 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're a dance teacher and you teach A2 Dance it's great. Realy helpful for the era bit of the specification if you choose to do the Royal Ballet bit.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this the way to celebrate 75 years? 25 Nov 2007
By D. Gray
The book serves some use in piecing together the history of the company and it is quite right that the bad times are also included. However I found the writing style very dry and sometimes tedious to read. Coupled with the numerous subjective criticisms littered throughout, this book fails to convey the love and affection of balletomanes for the company. We should have had a book that reflects the opinions of the fans rather than the serious broadsheet critics, especially for the 75th anniversary...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for research 14 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is useful for research into the history of the Royal Ballet with plenty of information and good photographs.
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