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Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Must-read for Ballet Lovers: Irina by Irina Baronova

Irina is a charming rags-to-riches story and a must-read for ballet lovers. In this very interesting book Irina Baronova tells the tale of her family's difficult escape from Russia; her rise to fame as one of the Baby Ballerinas with the Ballet Russe; her sometimes traumatic personal life and struggles with a dominating mother; and her departure from the ballet to be a wife and mother.

Every ballet lover will enjoy reading about Irina's time in the Ballet Russe where she worked with talented choreographers, including Massine and Nijinska, and ballerinas, such as the great Danilova. She also writes a lot about the Ballet Russes' tours of America and Australia.

Even those who are not very interested in the ballet will enjoy this autobiography which covers so much history and so many changes in the world.

I have just seen the wonderful documentary about the Ballets Russes so I am interested in reading sections of this book again. My only problem with Irina's book is that it is very long, detailed, and a little bit technical. (It's a long time since I learnt any ballet!)

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