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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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The Ballet Companion Hardcover – October 11, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gaynor Minden, a former dancer who now heads a dancewear company, has been immersed in the world of ballet for much of her life, and in this book shares dancer-to-dancer advice, much of which is aimed at beginning-to-intermediate level dancers, or adults who are either starting or returning to a childhood passion; dancers who have been committed to the art for a couple of years will already know on the finer points of finding a school, how to behave in class and the basic positions and movements, though the crisp photographs of professionals demonstrating steps are quite useful. The chapter on pointework, Gaynor Minden's specialty, is more widely valuable, and the pages devoted to dancer health contain vital information on eating disorders, injuries and supplemental physical training that teachers and students of all levels would do well to review. Brief sections called "The Curious Dancer" give introductions to ballet-related skills and trivia (how to apply stage makeup; ballet on Broadway), as well as intermittent features on great ballet companies and famous dancers of both early and modern times. Her explanation of the differences between the six major ballet styles, along with the superb glossaries of terms and dance history timeline, make this book a valuable resource for dance studios and a great primer for dancers in the early stages of training.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Everyone involved with or interested in ballet should read this book. Comprehensively researched and packed with valuable information, The Ballet Companion is a treasure-trove for ballet enthusiasts."
-- Kirk Peterson, Ballet Master/Choreographer, American Ballet Theatre

"This is the very book I would have loved to have discovered when I first started to study ballet."
-- Allegra Kent, former Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet and author of Once a Dancer

"This is the very book I would have loved to have discovered when I first started to study ballet."
-- Allegra Kent, former principal dancer, New York City Ballet and author of Once a Dancer

"Unique and comprehensive, this is a wonderful companion and guide for anybody who loves dance."
-- Edward Villella, former principal dancer, New York City Ballet and founding artistic director, Miami City Ballet

"Eliza Gaynor Minden captures our imagination, taking us into the magical world of ballet."
-- David Howard, internationally acclaimed master teacher and coach

"A superb reference book -- all the information today's students need but can't get just by taking class. Every dancer's library should have it."
-- Angel Corella, principal dancer, American Ballet Theatre

"This book is a broad canvas of the history, elements, and components of dance. It is must reading for those who love dance and wish to explore its functions and derivation."
-- Melissa Hayden, former principal dancer New York City Ballet, faculty, North Carolina School of the Arts

"This comprehensive guide to the world of ballet is a must-have for all dance enthusiasts."
-- Gillian Murphy, Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre

"A smorgasboerd of information about the world of ballet!"
-- Alexandra Ansanellli, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet

"This offers a wealth of information as well as being extremely interesting."
-- Mignon Furman, director, American Academy of Ballet
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074326407X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743264075
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At last a gorgeous new book that does justice to the bunhead way of life. Eliza Gaynor Minden obviously cares deeply about her subject and her enthusiasm for and appreciation of ballet is infectious. Hundreds of steps and movements defined and pictured, plus practical advice such as how to evaluate teachers or schools or summer programs, how to stay healthy and prevent injury, what to eat, how to audition, how to stretch, the whys and wherefors of class etiquette, the differences among training schools, what to learn from other dance forms such as jazz or modern, plus lively takes on everything from the first pointe performance to ballet on Broadway. Great glossary that even includes dancer slang. Practical, browsable, informative, this book inspires and instructs and shows dancers of any level how to get more out of dancing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book on Kindle based on all the starred reviews, but the Kindle edition has no illustrations. This is deceptive, and I should have been informed before purchase. It's not the same book without illustrations.
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By Steffi on February 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. There's almost nothing out there for us adult beginners, and this book fills that gap totally. I highly recommend it for anyone starting out, but would hesitate to get it if you've already been taking classes for a few years.
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Format: Hardcover
THE BALLET COMPANION by Eliza Gaynor Minden is a book for everyone whose life is touched by dance -- to any degree, in any capacity -- whether dance is your life, or you're an occasional audience member, or you are godparent to a young dancer. The book is illustrated by, and intended equally for, males and females. The author writes to de-mystify the dance, but this will take none of the magic away. In fact, the reader will love the art with renewed vision and passion after reading her book, which is rich with photos and drawings, and alive with color.

For future dancers: Others may tell you some of what is in this book, but here you will find information no

one else may think of sharing with you. You will learn how to send the signals to your teacher, parents,

choreographer, ballet mistress, casting director, fellow dancers, audience -- and most of all, to yourself --

that you are serious about becoming a contributing presence in the world of dance.

For teachers of dance: Your identity and your lifework are validated at the outset (see p. 3, Teacher's

Credentials). Essentials of what students need to do to maximize their openness to their teachers

are stated clearly and with a sense of humor. Respect and regard for the studio and one's faculty and classmates, grooming, conduct in the theatre: these are only a thimbleful of the relevant, vitally important topics covered to everyone's benefit.

For parents and relatives of dancers: This book presents not only the essentials of classical ballet

training and technique, but also the highest standards of courtesy, consideration, integrity and

(one might say) civilization, to empower a new generation.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Kindle edition does not include any illustrations or charts. Some of these omitted pictures are not missed but some are important to see positions and movements and they are referred to in the text. This good book is not so good on the Kindle.
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Format: Hardcover
Written in lay-persons terms so I could understand. Every thing you need to know concerning ballet. - From warm ups to jumps, ribbons to toe shoes, healthy eating to injury protection, Ballet history to future diva dancer. I have been able to look up an ache, see what muscles are in the area and then look up the appropriate stretches. All in one book!

And there are 5 glossaries in the back of the book. - Ballet Terms, Music Terms, theater Teams, Social Dances, and Dancer Slang! Don't get stuck with a "Dolly Dinkle"! Be a proud "Bun Head" and be in the know! This may very well be the only dusted book in your Ballet Library.

Poor Mom of Three Darling Dancing Divas.
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Format: Hardcover
While any dancer will find this book of great interest, it is something that would be a true joy to the beginning ballet student. The book begins with that essential first step of selecting the correct ballet school. It proceeds from there with all that I can describe as love.

Ms. Minden has a life long love of ballet, and she brings all that to this book. It's partly, perhaps even mostly a text book. It's the positions, the muscles, the techniques. Also there are tales of history, of dancers of the past that advanced the art. There is discussion of common injuries and how to prevent them.

In essence this is the complete book of ballet. It covers just about everything (except how difficult it is to get a job as a dancer). I really wish that I could have purchased this book for my daughter when she was first getting interested in dance oh so many years ago. Oh what a Christmas present it would have made.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a nice book, but not what was expected. Yes it as a small section on the ballet positions, but focuses less on the actual movements and more on so so history of ballet, some of the favorite ballerinas and male stars. If your looking for more this isn't for you, even at a discounted price for either a hardcover or paperback edition, and forget about a kindle edition, many photos are completely omitted. It's a shame since Ms Gaynor Minden was once a professional ballet dancer herself. She needs to focus on quality control and customer relations, no matter how well or not her Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are made. You want a ballet companion book, your better off choosing the Classical Ballet Technique text.
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