I’m adding a new feature on my blog: Memorable Book Monday! Every Monday, I’m going to post reviews of my all-time favorite books. I love reading about everything, (except politics and religion) so you’ll see a mixed bag of my interests.
I’m starting out with Dance is a Contact Sport by Joseph H. Mazo.
Joseph H. Mazo takes us behind the scenes of an entire performance season with the New York City Ballet Company. In his concise writing style, he describes the exciting, high pressure life of the entire company, from the ballet students, the corps de ballet, the principal dancers and, of course, the incredible “Mr. B.”, aka George Balanchine. Mazo’s inspirational writing draws you into the world of the ballet dancer. Long hours of practice, low pay, injuries, a demanding rehearsal schedule and pure love of ballet are the sure signs of a dancer. Mazo also includes NYCB’s financial problems and union issues. NYCB’s attitude towards controversial issues of the early 70’s – woman’s liberation, homosexuality and ethnic composition of the company are frankly discussed. In addition, several pages of B/W photos capture the dancer’s intensity, strength and determination during rehearsals and performances.
I first read this book as a young woman while taking ballet lessons and have read it several times over. OK, I have a confession to make: I bring this book along with me on long weekend trips, in case I run out of reading material. I love it that much. As a ballet lover, it continues to reignite the joy I have for ballet.