Ballet Arizona’s Book Club is Back!
Free and open to the public, we invite you to join us as we build community around and appreciation for the incredible art form of dance. We are meeting once each quarter to discuss the selections below. Book Club meetings will be via Zoom with access information being sent out closer to the meeting date. These virtual gatherings will be facilitated by Alexandra Papazian, Education & Community Engagement Manager.
Ballet Arizona Book Club Meeting Schedule
Book Club #1: George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker by Robert Gottlieb
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 | Free | Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom Meeting Information
Written by the gifted author, editor, and dance critic Robert Gottlieb, George Balanchine describes the life and art of the celebrated, revolutionary ballet choreographer. Here is a necessary and singular look at the life of one of the great figures of the 20th Century: the dynamic Balanchine, founder of The New York City Ballet, collaborator of Stravinsky, and inspiration to countless fans over the course of his long and storied career. George Balanchine is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins’ “Eminent Lives” series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures.
Book Club #2: Maria Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief and Larry Kaplan
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Free | Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom Meeting Information
A fascinating self-portrait of the fairy-tale life of a woman who understood that a committed talent could transform the world around her. “Maria Tallchief and American ballet came of age in the same moment…. Her story will always be the story of ballet conquering America. It was and is an American romance.”-Arlene Croce, The New Yorker
**this book is out of print – the best and easiest way to obtain a copy is online through a digital reading device**
Book Club #3: Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 | Free | Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom Meeting Information
A vibrant and absorbing novel about the competitive world of professional ballet, written by a former New York City Ballet dancer. As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances, and complicated backstage relationships. But when she meets a spontaneous and irresistibly cute musician named Jacob, her universe begins to change. Don’t miss this behind-the-scenes look at the life of a young professional ballet dancer, written by an insider who lived it all.
Book Club #4: Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaela DePrince and Elaine DePrince
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 | Free | Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom Meeting Information
Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life. At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and at the age of seventeen Michaela performed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem professional company. At eighteen she joined the Dutch National Junior Company as a second-year member and apprentice to the main company. Now at the age of twenty-five, Michaela is now ranked as a soloist at Dutch National Ballet. She has appeared in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as on Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Nightline. In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet’s most exciting rising stars.
Past Book Club Selections
- A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back by David Hallberg
- Life In Motion by Misty Copeland
- The Voice of Juan Gabriel (La Voz de Juan Gabriel)
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
- Celestial Bodies: How to Look at Ballet by Laura Jacobs
*The AmazonSmile program, through Amazon.com, donates 0.5 percent of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Ballet Arizona when you select Ballet Arizona as your charitable organization.
Content warning: Selections on our reading list may contain content that deals with distressing themes and/or situations, which may not be suitable for children under 18. Parental discretion is advised.