The world's most famous choreographer becomes infatuated with a coltish young dancer who proves both siren and muse. A rising star plunges into an affair with a principal but finds that ecstasy on the stage can't be surpassed in the bed. A dying legend reflects on the evanescent beauty of a life of gesture, lost to everything but memory.
Each bittersweet story plants the reader amid a cast of dancers and choreographers who struggle—valiantly, playfully, fiercely—to find in the rigorous discipline and animating beauty of ballet a counterbalance to the chaos of unscripted life. Many of the tales dare to imagine the inner lives of the century's titans—Balanchine, Fonteyn and Nureyev—which rival in emotional complexity and pathos the classic dramas they enacted onstage: La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Swan Lake.
White Swan, Black Swan translates the pure and essential gestures of ballet into starkly elegant prose while showing the sweat and sex beneath the serene surface. Adrienne Sharp's debut is a bravura performance.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: White Swan, Black Swan|
|Release Date: 12-18-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||White Swan, Black Swan|
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White Swan, Black Swan
I've got a heating pad on my knee, an ice pack on my ankle, and I'm smoking a cigarette, which I shouldn't be doing, but Ridley's making me nervous. He's dancing tonight, not me, but that's not what's on his mind. He wants to talk. He wants to talk about turning thirty last week in Chicago, about moving to a bigger apartment when we get back to New York after the tour, about buying furniture, or at least a sofa, about getting married, about having a baby. Even though I've been with Ridley for four years now, ever since I was fifteen, none of this has ever come up. Dancers don't do those kinds of things. You're at the studio by ten, home from the theater after midnight: there's no energy for anything else. And a baby? That's at least a year off, if you ever make it back. But I don't want to fight with Ridley: I wouldn't want him to fight with me two hours before my curtain. So right now, I'm smoking a cigarette and trying to ignore all this.
"Don't answer me, Joanna," Ridley says from his side of the bed. "Try something new."
He disappears into the bathroom, abandoning me to this hotel room: a triple bureau and a writing desk, two wide beds with obelisks for headboards, a wing chair. Maybe this is what got him started. Nothing wrong with a good hotel room. I just don't see why we have to have all this stuff at home. We pretty much live at the theater; our apartment is only a warehouse for laundry and mail. I put out my cigarette, which was actually from Ridley's pack - we alternate, swearing off tobacco - and go back to what I was doing before he came out of the shower: going through my theater trunk. I've g...