Apollo’s Angles trackes the history of the ballet up through present day. All told about a 400 year history. Homans discussed major leaps and defining characters in ballet. (hehehe! see what I did there?) My favorite section was the history of ballet in Russia. I suppose because I’ve most often associated ballet with Russia and courts of the tsar. As it happens, that is not an entirely unfair association to make, and many of the ballets we consider classic productions today come from Russia.
My battle with the ballet book
February 16, 2012 by Jessi
Apollo’s Angles by Jennifer Homans, page count: 550
Whew! Now, I’m a slow reader, and can get pretty easily distracted, but this took me longer than I thought it would to complete. I was really excited about this book, I was on the waiting list at my library, and I was stoked when I finally received it. But, goodness gracious! it took me forever to complete this sucker! I got the book on January 5th, and I only just now finished it.
My biggest critique of the book is that even though it takes Homans 550 pages to write about ballet, I never really felt like I was drawn into the lyrical nature of ballet. The writing was a bit stiff and without exposition, which is neccessary for those of us who never seriously studied ballet. The work just was not terribly compelling, that’s all. Well, not for me anyway. Maybe if I had studied ballet for any length of time, I might have been more keen on the book. There was not a plot-like thread of story weaving throughout the book obliging me to read it.
I must admit, overall I was a bit disappointed by the book.