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Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans

Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans

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For more than four hundred years, the art of ballet has stood at the center of Western civilization. Its traditions serve as a record of our past. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully told, Apollo’s Angels—the first cultural history of ballet ever written—is a groundbreaking work. From ballet’s origins in the Renaissance and the codification of its basic steps and positions under France’s Louis XIV (himself an avid dancer), the art form wound its way through the courts of Europe, from Paris and Milan to Vienna and St. Petersburg. In the twentieth century, émigré dancers taught their art to a generation in the United States and in Western Europe, setting off a new and radical transformation of dance. Jennifer Homans, a historian, critic, and former professional ballerina, wields a knowledge of dance born of dedicated practice. Her admiration and love for the ballet, as Entertainment Weekly notes, brings “a dancer’s grace and sure-footed agility to the page.”
For more than four hundred years, the art of ballet has stood at the center of Western civilization. Its traditions serve as a record of our past. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully told, Apollo’s Angels—the first cultural history of ballet ever written—is a groundbreaking work. From ballet’s origins in the Renaissance and the codification of its basic steps and positions under France’s Louis XIV (himself an avid dancer), the art form wound its way through the courts of Europe, from Paris and Milan to Vienna and St. Petersburg. In the twentieth century, émigré dancers taught their art to a generation in the United States and in Western Europe, setting off a new and radical transformation of dance. Jennifer Homans, a historian, critic, and former professional ballerina, wields a knowledge of dance born of dedicated practice. Her admiration and love for the ballet, as Entertainment Weekly notes, brings “a dancer’s grace and sure-footed agility to the page.”

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Publish date: Nov 29, 2011
Added to Scribd: Nov 28, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/04/2014

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Apollo’sAngels
A HIsToRY oF BAlleT
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
or more than four hundred years, the art of ballethas stood at the center of Western civilization. Itstraditions serve as a record of our past. Lavishly il-lustrated and beautifully told, Apollo’s Angels—the rstcultural history of ballet ever written—is a groundbreak-ing work. From ballets origins in the Renaissance and thecodication of its basic steps and positions under France’sLouis XIV (himself an avid dancer), the art form woundits way through the courts of Europe, from Paris and Mi-lan to Vienna and St. Petersburg. In the twentieth cen-tury, émigré dancers taught their art to a generation in theUnited States and in Western Europe, setting off a new and radical transformation of dance. Jennifer Homans, ahistorian, critic, and former professional ballerina, wieldsa knowledge of dance born of dedicated practice. Her ad-miration and love for the ballet, as
 Entertainment Weekly
notes, brings “a dancer’s grace and sure-footed agility tothe page.”
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW LOS ANGELES TIMES  SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE PUBLISHERS WEEKL
 
PRAISE FOR
 APOLLO’S ANGELS
Named one of the
 New York Times Book Review
’s 10 Best Books of 2010
“It has never been done, what Jennifer Homans has done in
 Apollo’s Angels.
Shehas written the only truly definitive history of the most impossibly fantastic artform, ballet. . . . Homans’s accomplishment is akin to setting the most delicateand beautiful of all the imperial Fabergé eggs into a fissure high on MountRushmore and tracking its unlikely survival....The story of Balanchine hasbeen told before, and at greater length, but never better....An eloquent andlasting elegy to an unlasting art.”
 —The New York Times Book Review
“A tour de force...The publication of 
 Apollo’s Angels
is itself a moment in themagnificent history of classical dance.”
 —The Wall Street Journal 
Magisterial...
 Apollo’s Angels
is a cultural history of the highest order....Homans... brings to the page a practical knowledge gained in an earlier ca-reer as a dancer. Thus she leaps easily from big-picture political trends in onesentence to the minutiae of a dancer’s steps in the next, from how dances weremade to who the patrons were.... Fascinating reading.
Bookforum
“Here is a book of immense ambition—a one-volume history of ballet—andofconsiderable accomplishment.... Homans... shows herself to be bothdogged and graceful as a historian—a rare and welcome combination of quali-ties.... I follow her gratefully through the centuries as she traces the progressof ballet from its beginnings.... Her deft intelligence and lively voice keepher book from sounding too academic, and its vast stock of information is co-gently organized.”
 —The New York Review of Books
“It’s hard to believe that a book like Jennifer Homans’s
 Apollo’s Angels: A Historyof Ballet,
on a topic of such obvious interest and importance, has never beenwritten before, but it apparently hasn’t, and lovers of the ballet are lucky thatitis Homans—herself a former dancer and the dance critic for
The New Republic 
who took up the task.”
 —Harper’s Magazine
“A magisterial and often moving history of the silent art... The author artfullychoreographs a huge, sometimes unruly cast, producing a work of elegance,emotion and enduring importance.”
 Kirkus Reviews
(starred review)

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LauraNovak added this note
Having grown up dancing ballet and having read just about every book I ever could on it, I can say that this volume looks beautiful and enticing. Congrats on the great reviews. This sample shows how beautifully written it is.
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