The Ballerinas, from the Court of Louis XIV to Pavlova by Parmenia Migel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Sadly, this was too gossipy, too little about the ballet itself. And the "... to Pavlova"? Well, yes, there is a mention of her but it's a sentence buried at the very end. Overall, not really worth it - unless, of course, you're interested in the love lives and backbiting at the Paris Opera (where the ballerinas all shone). After some long chapters about the lives about the various Mlles, where they were from and how they ascended the heights in Paris, whether they toured and which rivalries they participated in, sometimes - sometimes! - there was something about their contribution to moving dance forward. While it's clear that Paris was the center of the ballet world for a very long time, so many of the dancers profiled toured (London, St. Petersburg, Naples, etc.) that more about what was going on in those cities would have been helpful. It isn't until the final chapter, which quickly marches us through a century (perhaps) of Russian dance, that we really get a picture of what was going on in any other city.