BALLETOMANIA THEN AND NOW by Arnold Haskell

BALLETOMANIA THEN AND NOW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Balletomania: The Story of an Obsession first appeared in 1934, Britisher Haskell's love-letters to Diaghilev, Pavlova, Nijinsky, Karsavina--with its famous opening line: ""It is my firm belief that human society is divided into three distinct castes: Russian dancers, dancers, and very ordinary people."" Now that original text is reprinted almost intact, interlaced with brief ""postscripts"" and followed by seven slim new chapters to bring some glimmers of the last three-and-a-half decades of dance into balletomanic focus. Mistakes are admitted (underestimating Kurt Joos), passions reaffirmed (Pavlova), and more recent presences are eyed watchfully (Balanchine) or saluted (Ulanova, Katherine Dunham) or slighted (Martha Graham: ""not for me""). The total effect is that of crushed, torn petals, as Haskell--after years of reviews, books, and Royal Ballet School directorship--brands portions of the original as ""trivial gossip"" or, at the Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo: ""As I write the old Monte Carlo has completely vanished.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1977
Publisher: Knopf