Thursday, August 21, 2008
If you know a dance-obsessed child, you'll definitely want to steer her/him toward Meet the Dancers: From Broadway, Ballet, and Beyond. 16 professional dancers are profiled in engaging and detailed chapters. Dancers from major dance companies such as the New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as well as dancers from smaller and experimental dance companies, the Broadway stage, and dancers in music videos and concert tours discuss their inspirations, accomplishments, setbacks, and advice to aspiring dancers (each dancer was also asked about their favorite childhood books!). The dancers are obviously passionate about their careers, but are also very honest about the demands placed upon a dancer's body, as well as the limited time a dancer has for a professional career (many of the dancers included in the book take college courses in their free time or have college degrees). African American and Latino dancers also talk about aspects of being a dancer of color. Although the majority of the dancers began their training when they were very young, several dancers didn't start until they were in their teens (usually male dancers, although there are one or two female dancers who started in their teens as well), which gives a different perspective.
Although the book is targeted toward young dancers, dance fans of all ages will enjoy this fun and eye-opening look at professional dance.