COME, DANCE WITH ME by Ninette de Valois


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The years 1898-1956 carried a small girl who was christened Edris Stannus in Baltiboys, Ireland, through a lifetime of intense work, considerable travail to a position of prestige in the ballet theatre. The child whose first dance was an Irish jig gives backstage views of the major and minor figures she knew and worked with in the Abbey Theatre, at the Old Vic, from forces like Lilian Baylis to wardrobe mistresses. She writes of the constant fight to meet expenses, the slow revival of the Sadler's Wells Ballet, and the genius of Diaghilev, who brought the richly patterned figures of Russian folk dances to bear on the condition of Western European ballet. Her description of her childhood in Ireland is sensitively attuned --but much of the narrative of later years drones. A personal record of interest chiefly to the tutu and toe-shoe circuit clan and balletomanes. With the author the founder of the Royal Ballet the record should have been of far wider interest.

Publisher: World