The Ballet Companion

The Ballet Companion

A New Classic for Today’s Dancer
The Ballet Companion is a fresh, comprehensive, and thoroughly up-to-date reference book for the dancer. With 150 stunning photographs of ballet stars Maria Riccetto and Benjamin Millepied demonstrating perfect execution of positions and steps, this elegant volume brims with everything today’s dance student needs, including:

  • Practical advice for getting started, such as selecting a school, making the most of class, and studio etiquette
  • Explanations of ballet fundamentals and major training systems
  • An illustrated guide through ballet class — warm-up, barre, and center floor
  • Guidelines for safe, healthy dancing through a sensible diet, injury prevention, and cross-training with yoga and Pilates
  • Descriptions of must-see ballets and glossaries of dance, music, and theater terms

Along the way you’ll find technique secrets from stars of American Ballet Theatre, lavishly illustrated sidebars on ballet history, and tips on everything from styling a ballet bun to stage makeup to performing the perfect pirouette.
Whether a budding ballerina, serious student, or adult returning to ballet, dancers will find a lively mix of ballet’s time-honored traditions and essential new information.

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.
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“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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