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Currently crushing on: Ballet

Crushing on ballet on | pic by Akira Enzeru

It all started when Jeanne recommended Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead. A novel about  how an American ballerina helps a Russian dancer defect, set against the backdrop of the exciting, challenging world of ballet, it has lead to a full-blown obsession.

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead |

As the NY Times notes, Shipstead “does caustic humor, simmering hostilities and social envy well”, which makes for a fun, immersive read.

Just before that,  Jo’s post reminded me about city.ballet, a great AOL series narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker all about life as part of the New York City Ballet. It’s on it’s second season now – each episode is less than 10 minutes long and brimming with interesting tid bits and refreshing honesty.

If that’s not enough (and for me, it wasn’t), hit up Netflix – go for cheesy nostalgia with Zoe Saldana’s film debut, Center Stageor keep it real with the brilliant 2011 documentary, First Position.

I never did ballet – I did get notions one summer though. I think I was around 10, and we had this brilliant Russian gymnast working with us in the circus that season. She trained my sister Kelly and I for a few months, and I have vivid memories of doing ballet drills to her chiming “Raz, dva, tri, chetyre!” and, after weeks of practising, finally, finally managing to do a side split. That’s as far as I got though.

I would love to see ballet live some day; which might happen sooner than I thought, as the Moscow City’s Ballet’s production  of The Nutcracker is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, which is just up the road. So the obsession can continue…

Underground Ballerina by Anthony Passant

Top: Absolutely gorgeous shot by Akira Enzeru.

Bottom: Underground Ballerina by Anthony Passant.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Danny Marquez
    January 13, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Nat!I make Ballet shoes for a living now. I’m Buttetfly Maker for Freeds of London.

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