For a little change a pace, we’re going to be celebrating the arts this week at Wrapped in Foil.
The cover of this book really catches your eye, the bright pink toe shoes set the stage for what is to come. Inside you find the biographies of ten world-class dancers who have made a real difference in other people’s lives. Author Anne Dublin has chosen a nice diversity of women, from many different parts of the world and with many different styles of dance.
Each chapter covers one dancer, starting with ballerina Anna Pavlova, who was born in 1881. The chapters are arranged chronologically based on the dancer’s year of birth. Next we learn about Anna Sokolow (born in 1910), Carmen Amaya (born in 1913), and others, through Geeta Chandran, born in 1962. Many of the women faced severe challenges, often due to the times and circumstances they grew up in, making these stories of history as well as dance.
Because of Dublin’s own background in dance – she has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Wisconsin – she can eloquently express the struggles and triumphs of each dancer in a way that makes us relate. She also knows the vocabulary of dance, and includes definitions of the “Forms of Dance,” as well as a glossary, in the back. Her lists of “Sources & Resources” for each dancer are quite impressive.
The text is illustrated with black and white photographs. Using black and white photographs helps ties together images from various eras and sources into a coherent whole. The text is also sprinkled with tantalizing sidebars that draw the reader in and reinforce learning.
This book is listed as young adult at Amazon, but for ages 9-13 in the promotional materials. I would say that any child interested in dance from age nine up couldn’t help but be inspired by this book.
Reading level: Young Adult (Amazon)
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Second Story Press (May 2009)
Dynamic Women Dancers really made me to want to see these women dancing, moving. Through the wonder of YouTube, I was able to find videos of three of the dancers. I hope you enjoy them.
Anna Pavlova is still amazing to watch, even after all the years.
Carmen Amaya came to be synonymous with flamenco, a traditional dance from the south of Spain.
Geeta Chandran’s expressive gestures and facial expressions are mesmerizing.
Review copy provided by publisher.