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Apollo's Angels

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About the Author

Jennifer Homans was a professional dancer trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, and The School of American Ballet. She performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Currently the dance critic for "The New Republic," she has written for "The New York Times," the "International Herald Tribune, ""The New York Review of Books, " and "The Australian." She earned her B.A. at Columbia University and her Ph.D. in modern European history at New York University, where she is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence.


The Random hc was a New York Times Book Review Best Book of 2010; Kirsten Potter reads. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Holmes's magisterial history of ballet is even better in audio. Kirsten Potter has a deep, smooth, sensuous voice that sounds as cultivated as the art form she describes. With pacing that allows the listener to savor the musicality of former ballerina Holmes's sentences, their lulling alliteration and lively wit, Potter brings the ambitious study of ballet's 500-year history (and bleak prognostications for its future) to life. Potter's French accent could use a bit of work; it's clumsy and forced, but doesn't detract too much from the pleasure of this panoramic look at the art's singularity, the discipline it demands (in Holmes's phrase, it is "a grammar of movement"), and the liberation it allows. A Random hardcover. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"It has never been done before, what Jennifer Homans has done in "Apollo's Angels." She has written the only truly definitive history of the most impossibly fantastic art form, ballet....Homans accomplishment is akin to setting the most delicate and beautiful of all the imperial Faberge eggs into a fissure high on Mount Rushmore and tracking its unlikely survival...Inspired...The story of Balanchine has been told before, and at greater lengths, but never better...An eloquent and lasting elegy to an unlasting art." "--"COVER REVIEW," THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW""A tour de force...the publication of "Apollo's Angels" is itself a moment in the magnificent history of classical dance.""--THE WALL STREET JOURNAL""Magisterial..." Apollo's Angels" is a cultural history of the highest order...Homans brings to the page a practical knowledge gained in an earlier career as a dancer. Thus she leaps easily from big picture political trends in one sentence to the minutiae of a dancer's steps in the next, from how dances were made to who the patrons were...Fascinating reading.""--BOOKFORUM ""Here is a book of immense ambition--a one volume history of ballet--and of considerable accomplishment....Homans shows herself to be both dogged and graceful as a historian--a rare and welcome combination of qualities...I follow her gratefully through the centuries as she traces the progress of ballet from its beginnings...Her deft intelligence and lively voice keep the book from sounding too academic, and its vast stock of information is cogently organized.""--NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS""It's hard to believe that a book like Jennifer Homans's "Apollo's Angels," on a topic of such obvious interest and importance, has never been written before, but it apparently hasn't, and lovers of the ballet are lucky that it is Homans--herself a former dancer and the dance critic for The New Republic--who took up the task.""-- Harper's Magazine ""A

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