Ballet AZ Blog

Get excited because Ballet Arizona’s Book Club is back! Free and open to the public, join us as we build a community around and appreciation for all things dance.

When: We are meeting once each quarter to discuss the selections below.

  • Summer Bonus Book Club: Wednesday, July 21, 2021
  • Book Club #1: Wednesday, August 18, 2021
  • Book Club #2: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
  • Book Club #3: Wednesday, January 19, 2022
  • Book Club #4: Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Where: Zoom! Our virtual gatherings will be facilitated by Education & Community Engagement Manager, Alexandra Papazian. Please note that pre-registration is required to receive Zoom Meeting information.


Summer Bonus Book Club

Celestial Bodies: How to Look at Ballet by Laura Jacobs

Click here to register

As much as we may enjoy Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, for many of us ballet is a foreign language. It communicates through movement, not words, and its history lies almost entirely abroad — in Russia, Italy, and France. In Celestial Bodies, dance critic Laura Jacobs makes the foreign familiar, providing a lively, poetic, and uniquely accessible introduction to the world of classical dance. Combining history, interviews with dancers, technical definitions, descriptions of performances, and personal stories, Jacobs offers an intimate and passionate guide to watching ballet and understanding the central elements of choreography.


Buy on Amazon
Buy at Changing Hands (local bookstore)
Buy at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (local bookstore) 


Book Club #1

George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker by Robert Gottlieb

Click here to register

Written by editor and dance critic Robert Gottlieb, George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker describes the life and art of the celebrated, revolutionary ballet choreographer. 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.


Buy on Amazon
Buy at Changing Hands (local bookstore)
Buy at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (local bookstore) 


Book Club #2

Maria Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief & Larry Kaplan

Click here to register

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**


Buy on Amazon
Buy at Changing Hands (local bookstore)
Buy Kindle Version


Book Club #3

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Click here to register

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.


Buy on Amazon
Buy at Changing Hands (local bookstore)
Buy at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (local bookstore) 


Book Club #4

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaela DePrince & Elaine DePrince

Click here to register

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. She went on to study at prestigious academies and at the age of 17, performed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem.  At 18, Michaela joined the Dutch National Junior Company and is now ranked as a soloist at Dutch National Ballet. 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.


Buy on Amazon
Buy at Changing Hands (local bookstore)
Buy at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (local bookstore) 


P.S. When you purchase from the AmazonSmile program through Amazon, 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases get donated to Ballet Arizona when you select us as your charitable organization!
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