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Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, with a new preface Paperback – November 10, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
She has a delicate flair for words, and her prose couldn't be any less lovely than her pliees and tondus.
Dancing with a world-famous ballet company is gruelling. The dancers are overworked, underfed, and have little understanding of how the "real world" works, yet it would seem they like it that way. Ballet companies thusly have much in common with military outfits: soldiers and dancers work brutally hard, but have their concerns looked after by the higher-ups. Balanchine is the dancers' general.
With the incredibly long hours and the accompanying mental and physical exhaustion, how did Toni get the time to write this book?
"We are hairless. We have no leg hairs, no pubic hair, no armpit hair, no facial hair, no neck hair and only a solid little lump at the top of our heads. Any sign of stubble must be closely watched out for and removed.
"That is not all. We don't eat food, we eat music. We need artistic sustenance only. Emotional, inspiring sustenance. Al our physical energy is the overflow of spiritual feelings. We live on faith, belief, love, inspiration, vitamins and Tab."
Toni eventually does break free of the NYC Ballet machine, but she's drawn inexorably back. After all, as she says, "We live only to dance. If living were not an essential prerequisite, we would abstain."
Often, artistic memoirs focus on the superstars, the Tallchiefs and Nureyevs, for instance. The view from the corps de ballet is all the more interesting for being so rare. This book is beautiful, wry, humorous and exquisitely-written. I wish Ms. Bentley had written several other volumes.
Nevertheless, as I came to the last page of the book, I was left wanting more. One winter season came and went swiflty and with it, the world of ballet evaporated before my eyes before I new it. So, as a junkie, I had to go looking elsewhere to "get my fix" of more ballet =).
Anyone who loves dance, has a good sense of humor and enjoys good literature, should read this book. It is not chronological or biographically detailed. Her story is told in the style of fragments but written with great charm and beauty. The book really is pure poetry. I highly recommend it. It is fast reading and a book that makes you want to read it again and again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Even at the tender age of 22, which she was when she wrote Winter Season, Toni Bentley could really write. Deeply sensitive inside look at the heart and soul of a dancer.Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
As a non-dancer, I wanted a glimpse into the life of a ballet dancer and this quick read satisfied my interest.Published 2 months ago by Emily
I was also a dancer in NYC. Wish I could have read this then. Along with so many of us who experienced the same painful, beautiful, confusing lives. Read morePublished 2 months ago by BWinkle
Excellent memoir giving insight into the mystical world of balletPublished 3 months ago by LaFemmeAB
I love that you get all the detail of the life of a dancer. I also love that she shows their mentality at the time. It gets five stars for that. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
I highly recommend this book written from the perspective of a NYC ballerina in the form of a journal documenting a single season she experienced with the ballet company in the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lisa Crossley
This is one of my favorite books! Every dancer and anyone who knows a dancer should read with book!Published 16 months ago by Anne Otto