Friday, May 2, 2008

In the wings

We have a lovely new book that really shows readers what it is like to be a world-class ballet dancer. In the Wings: behind the scenes at the New York City Ballet is by Kyle Froman - an 11-year member of the corps de ballet. He is also a very good photographer, and his photos of the endless classes, rehearsals and waiting around backstage are what make this book so interesting. Because he is truly shooting these photos from inside the company, they are incredibly intimate - physically and emotionally. The most telling images from the book are from the chapter "11:30 A.M.", when the dancers try to repair the physical damage and toll of dancing. Interspersed with these great photos is Froman's narration - his explanation of the daily grind of the ballet, and the things that have to occur backstage and within the dancer in order to bring perfection to performance night. Since the Ketchikan Theater Ballet has such a strong presence in this community - my own daughter was an adorable nurse in the Spring Gala last year - I know there are many young people who will find this book fascinating.

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