Memorable Book Monday


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.

5 thoughts on “Memorable Book Monday

  1. I was a person who worked at Harod Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida many years ago. There they had ballet dancers from all over the world training for dance. The principal person there was Maria Tallchief. It was a unique experience.


    1. How lucky you were to have such a rare experience of witnessing the behind the scenes actions of a ballet company.
      PS I’m still reading your book – so far, so good. Will e-mail you my thoughts when I complete it.


      1. I am so honored that you are reading my book. I really hope you like it. I am entering it for the November contest providing I can get it up to fifty thousand words. I like it the way it is but you know writers, write, rewrite and triwrite. How far have you gotten? I am excited to have someone of your caliber take the time to read it. Thank you, Barry


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