Two years has passed since our last list of recommendations for Christmas gifts for the dance lovers in your life (check it out here); time for another round-up of fascinating and enjoyable reads featured by Oxford Dance Writers, to ease your Christmas shopping travails or request for your own Christmas stocking… Special thanks to Maggie Watson whose many informative and insightful reviews will help you choose the ideal gift…

First up a couple of recent books to enthuse and inform aspiring dancers and balletomanes – perfect Christmas presents:

The Ballet Lover’s Companion, by Zoë Anderson. Yale University Press, 2015

Zoë Anderson has compiled 140 ballets in a comprehensive survey of the repertoire, organised historically and geographically.  A sumptuous and enjoyable gift; read Maggie Watson’s review here. You can buy this book here (more…)

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…)