If there is a new ballet fan in your family, this could be the ideal Christmas present.  Zoë Anderson’s book assumes no specialist knowledge, and includes a glossary of the ballet terms she uses, so that any reader can visualise her descriptions.

Anderson is very knowledgeable, and she has chosen to write a highly readable work that also touches on some of the issues that ballet as an art form faces today. She has selected 140 ballets, for each of which she gives what are in effect programme notes: synopses of plots, information about the original performance, and sometimes descriptions of the dancing or reports of the critical response. (more…)