Readers will gain serious know-how in this energetic guide. From the steps required to execute a perfect relevé to getting the hang of proper leg rotation during turnout, ballet posture is analyzed from every angle. To help speed up the learning process, and to give readers a slice of entertainment while presenting what the authors acknowledge are challenging skills, the authors present each move with engaging metaphor. Rising to toes from flat feet is compared to “leaning forward to smell a gigantic pot of your favorite food,” and the secret to widening shoulders when practicing posture is to imagine “a cobra snake stretching [its] hood sideways.” Whimsical watercolor illustrations by Stella Maris Mongodi bring the mechanics to life.
The icing on the cake is Ballerina Konora’s personal dance notes, such as how to capture the attention of an audience through minimal movement and the positive physical effects of learning good posture through structured dance. Also significant is her down-to-earth treatment of the pressures that accompany ballet. She encourages beginners that “hardly anyone likes ballet during their first year” and urges breaks, when needed, to explore other interests. This story is an aesthetic reminder of ballet’s technical skills that will motivate dancers to “find joy in [their] learning.”
Takeaway: A step-by-step guide to ballet posture that offers inspiring commentary and professional tricks of the trade.
Great for fans of: Rachel Isadora’s Lili at Ballet, Darcey Bussell’s The Ballet Book.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A