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Dancing Away Paperback – 14 Jun 1999
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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!)
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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