Welcome to a brand new series from Athletistry, curated by Shane Wuerthner himself, called "Athletistry Recommends." In this series, we aim to share handpicked resources, tips, and insights that will enrich your ballet journey. To kick things off, we're diving into the literary world of ballet. Shane Wuerthner has meticulously curated a list of the top 5 "ballet books" that are a must-read for every dancer.
Each book is a comprehensive guide, brimming with techniques, insights, and illuminating illustrations, designed to deepen your understanding and enhance your ballet performance. Whether you're stepping into the ballet world for the first time or you're a seasoned professional, these books are essential additions to your ballet library. So, let's turn the page and explore these invaluable resources.
Please note: The links to these books are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you.
Foundations of Classical Ballet: New, Complete and Unabridged Translation of the 3rd Edition [link]: This book is a treasure trove of Russian ballet techniques and teachings of the revered Agrippina Vaganova. Hailed as the most widely-read ballet manual globally, it offers a comprehensive insight into Vaganova's method, including specific illustrations and a detailed analysis of the Italian influence on Russian ballet. A must-read for anyone who appreciates the timelessness of classical ballet.
One Hundred Lessons in Classical Ballet: Eight-year Programme of Leningrad's Vaganova
Choreographic School [link]: This book serves as a roadmap to the eight-year program of the Vaganova Choreographic School, detailing lessons and progressions for students of all levels.
It offers a holistic understanding of the Vaganova method and its application in practical ballet training.
Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet [link]: An absolute must-have for dancers, Gail Grant's "Technical Manual" provides a comprehensive understanding of over 1,100 ballet steps, movements, and poses. Complete with phonetic transcriptions, literal translations, explanations, and a 15-page pictorial section, this manual offers a clear and concise guide to the execution of ballet steps and movements.
Classical Ballet Technique [link]: Gretchen Warren's masterpiece presents over 2600 photographs that demonstrate every movement in the classical ballet repertoire, from the most basic to the most advanced. Accompanied by descriptive texts and teaching techniques, this book is the perfect guide for ballet students and teachers alike, combining the best elements of the Soviet, Danish, and English instructional schools.
Dance Anatomy 2ed: Your Illustrated Guide to Improving Flexibility, Reducing Injury, and Enhancing Strength [link]: This book marries the aesthetic beauty of dance with the raw energy of anatomy. With hundreds of full-color illustrations, this guide helps dancers understand how muscular development translates into greater poise and elegance on stage. It providesmore than 100 effective dance, movement, and performance exercises designed to promote correct alignment, improved placement, proper breathing, and injury prevention. "Dance Anatomy" is a must-have for any dancer looking to improve their technique and ensure safety while dancing.
These books are much more than mere reading materials; they are comprehensive guides to the world of ballet. By delving into these texts, you'll gain invaluable knowledge about ballet techniques, methods, and terminologies, while also learning about the anatomy and physiology of dance.
Whether you're a beginner just starting out on your ballet journey or a seasoned professional looking to deepen your understanding of the art, these books are sure to be an invaluable addition to your ballet library.
Remember, every journey begins with a single step. So, take that step and immerse yourself in the world of ballet through these illuminating reads. Happy dancing!