This section of our website is devoted to book lists that you can take to your library. The lists are sorted by Category, Subcategory and then Topic.
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Copyright © 2004 - 2006 Eclectic Homeschool Association
- 10 Ballet Fun Books: Stickers, Paper Dolls, Stencils and More
- All Tutus Should Be Pink (Hello Reader! Level 2 (Paperback))
Sheri Brownrigg, Meredith Johnson
Two little girls attend ballet class and eat strawberry ice cream afterwards.
- Ballerina Dreams (Hello Reader!, Level 3)
Diana White, Jacqueline Rogers
Diana White recounts how her dream of becoming a ballerina came true from her first dance class at age four to her work with the New York City Ballet.
- Ballerina Girl (My First Reader (Paperback))
Kirsten Hall, Michael Koelsch
A little girl puts on different costumes and pretends she's a ballerina performing for an audience.
Written by a former member of The Royal Ballet company, this book offers a true insider's view of absolutely everything a budding balletomane wants to know about dance from the costumes, the steps, the choreographers, and the dance companies to what it's like in a class, a rehearsal and a performance. The illustrations --luscious and atmospheric -- thrill and inspire. Also a terrific reference, this book provides detailed coverage of the history of ballet, retellings of favorite ballet stories, and a glossary of dancers, choreographers, companies and technical terms, as well as a timeline of performances. A beautiful gift book as exciting as opening night!
- Ballet (Ultimate Sticker Books)
Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Kids will stick with these books! Each title in this best-selling series has more than 60 self-adhesive full-color stickers plus informative, lively pages of text to complete and decorate. Hours of fun!
- Ballet Class Coloring Book
John Green, Caroline Denzler
Clear, accurate drawings (all in proper sequence) depict everything that goes on in a beginner’s class, from lacing up the ballet shoe to executing the perfect arabesque. Illustrated instructions as well for proper posture, warm-up exercises, arm movements and much more. Inspirational, encouraging and instructive advice for young ballet stars of the future.
- Ballet Class for Beginners (1986)
David Howard's Ballet Class for Beginners is an excellent learning and teaching tool especially designed by America's foremost ballet master to introduce the beginning dance student to the technique and vocabulary of classical ballet with the emphasis on posture, placement, and movement potential. Featuring Allison Potter with music by Whit Kellog.
- Ballet For Beginners
"Briefly looks at the history of ballet, the life of a professional dancer, and what a beginner needs to know about ballet classes. The main section introduces the basic exercises in a classical ballet class, from the five positions to little jumps and pirouettes. Full-color photographs of children in class show a series of motions for each exercise, while the captions offer explanations and advice....A glossary explains the pronunciation and meaning of French terms used in ballet classes throughout the world."--Booklist.
- Ballet of the Elephants
by Leda Schubert, Robert Andrew Parker (Illustrator)
Sparkling watercolor-and-ink illustrations dance across the page and spill out onto a horizontal foldout of elephants and ballerinas spotlighted togetherin the true story of Circus Polka, choreographed in 1942 by George Balanchine, with music by Igor Stravinsky and performances by John Ringling Norths elephants. Robert Andrew Parker brings his love of theater, dance, and costume to this captivating story. Leda Schuberts background note includes black-and-white photos of the actual performances.
- Ballet Stories (Story Library (Paperback))
Harriet Castor, Sally Holmes
Capturing everything from the stage-fright of auditions, to the difficulties of training, to the final joys of performing, these 15 stories encompass all facets of the dance experience. Authors include Margot Fonteyn, Cynthia Voigt and Amy Hest.
- Ballet: An Usborne Guide
by Annabel Thomas, Helen Davies, Ann Savage
A practical and informative introduction for beginners, the lively, comprehensive and fully illustrated book explores all aspects of ballet from its earliest origins to the latest trends. As well as help on choosing classes, what to wear and warming up, there are also simple steps and exercises to try.
- Beginning Ballet: From the Classroom to the Stage
by Joan Lawson
Beginning Ballet is an essential first book for ballet students and their parents. The newly edited and revised edition provides a guide to technique, vocabulary and practice in class as well as to the costumes required for class and stage. Joan Lawson also offers invaluable advice to parents on how to seek ballet training for their child. The book is illustrated throughout by the remarkable drawings of Kay Ambrose and the costume patterns of Peter Revitt. Teachers will find an excellent selection of steps, exercises and drawings of basic poses adapted from various well-known methods of dancing.
Margot Fonteyn, Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher, Leo Delibes, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Leo Coppelia Delibes
- Dancer Who Flew : A Memoir of Rudolf Nureyev, The
by Linda Maybarduk
Few ballet dancers have held the world’s attention like Rudolf Nureyev. Naturally talented and technically brilliant, Nureyev had a charisma that knocked the dancing world on its heels. This stunning book is a very personal glimpse of a unique artist through the eyes of a fellow dancer and friend.
- DK Readers: Little Ballerina (Level 2: Beginning to Read Alone)
This Level 2 book is perfect for children who are beginning to read alone.
It's the day of the big performance at Laura's ballet school. Suddenly disaster strikes! Can Laura help save the show? Longer sentences and an expanded vocabulary make this series of 48-page books slightly more challenging: Level 2 is appropriate for children who have started to read but still need help. Information boxes full of background information will stimulate inquisitive minds. These books contain between 700 and 850 words, and they are approximately 70 percent pictures and 30 percent text. The Dorling Kindersley Readers combine an enticing visual layout with high-interest, easy-to-read stories to captivate and delight young bookworms who are just getting started. Written by leading children's authors and compiled in consultation with literacy experts, these engaging books build reader confidence along with a lifelong appreciation for nonfiction, classic stories, and biographies. There is a DK Reader to interest every child at every level, from preschool to grade 4.
- Fantasy Garden Ballet Class II, A (1996)
his class contains classic ballet fundamentals and basic motor skills as well as rhythmic exercises, which will all stimulate your child's creativity and imagination. 40 minutes.
- Fantasy Garden Ballet Class, A (1992)
Ballet instructor Rosemary Boross combines imagination and ballet in this innovative dance program for preschoolers. Boross and a class of preschoolers warm up, perform stretching and strengthening exercises, progress to center work, and end with révérence. Boross does not give specific instruction or attempt to include viewers in her class. She does associate many fundamental ballet steps like plié, tendu, and bourreé with garden flowers and animals by utilizing original compositions by Bruce Foster. While the video's cover art suggests animated segments, there is no animation in the presentation, just crayon drawings and studio dancing set to music with clever lyrics. Convincing young students dance with Boross throughout the video, then improvise with scarves in a brief creative-movement segment. The instruction is minimal in this 38-minute video, but young viewers will learn many ballet fundamentals by imitating Boross and may even remember some ballet terms thanks to the garden imagery. (Ages 3 to 5) --Tami Horiuchi
- George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (1993) DVD
Tchaikovsky's timeless Yuletide ballet is presented in an all-new movie version with as much eloquence as one would find in a live stage production. Replete with gorgeous costumes and scenery, George Balanchine's production, adapted by Peter Martins, features the New York City Ballet with narration by Kevin Kline. From the moment the Nutcracker prince winds toymaker Drosselmeier's life-sized dolls, viewers are ushered into the captivating story of a little girl's Christmas Eve fantasy of beauty, magic, and sugarplums. While several versions of this beloved tale are available in video, this one is distinguished for the magnificent performances of a large cast of young ballet dancers from the School of American Ballet. While Culkin lends his star-studded name, that is all he lends in what is mostly a wooden performance (he often appears on the sidelines looking quite blasé and detached). More deserving accolades go to Jessica Lynn Cohen as Marie, whose genuineness never wanes and dance steps never falter. Bart Robinson Cook is wonderful as the playful Herr Drosselmeier, and Darci Kistler is the graceful Sugarplum Fairy. Mostly this film belongs to children--both on the stage and in the audience. What is lacking in spontaneous energy of live theater is made up for in a perfectly polished performance. The only thing missing is the well-earned applause. --Lynn Gibson
- Giselle (1974)
- I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina
by Anna Pavlova, Edgar Degas (Illustrator)
A young girl's discovery of ballet is combined with the magic of French Impressionist Edgar Degas's paintings to create a story as delicate and lovely as the ballerina herself. Drawn from the 1922 autobiography of prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, this reminiscence tells of her first trip to the ballet to see Sleeping Beauty with her mother. Her youthful words reflect the sweet wonder of the experience, as well as the gentle love between mother and child. The moment the breathless Pavlova voices her desire to dance on the stage one day, followed by her mother's response that she is "her silly little dear," is made all the more poignant by the reader's knowledge that this particular little girl's dream did come true.
Filled with the enchanting details of the ballet, and perfectly accompanied by the famous ballerina paintings of Degas, this is a book to be treasured by dancers, art lovers, and devotees of ballet alike. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
- Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories: Dorling Kindersley Read & Listen
by Barbara Newman, Gill Tomblin
The Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories features narration by Darcey Bussell, principal dancer with London's Royal Ballet, with musical selections from each ballet.
- Lili at Ballet
- Little Ballerina, The
Illustrated in full color. The Little Ballerina will dance her way into the
hearts of little girls everywhere. Readers will share her determination as she
practices the five basic positions, works at the barre, and struggles to do a
perfect pirouette. And they will cheer when she shines as a sunbeam in the Big
Ballet terms, pronunciation guide, and illustrations of steps are
- Midsummer Night's Dream, A - DVD
Choreographed by an artistic genius, Shakespeare's comedy of magic and love's delusions set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn is a guaranteed audience pleaser. Pacific Northwest Ballet displays all the vitality, brilliance and versatility of its wonderful dancers in this award-winning production of Balanchine's first original full-length ballet.
- Pointe by Point (1988)
The Definitive Ballet Teaching Aid
- Prokofiev - Cinderella (The Royal Ballet Version) (1998)
Cinderella may be Sergei Prokofiev's most accessible ballet, both musically and visually, and in the hands of a master choreographer, it can be a thrilling experience. And so it is with this 1969 Royal Ballet performance, with then-resident genius Frederick Ashton pulling out all the stops in a staging guaranteed to please fans and win new converts. Ashton's particular ability to couch his innovative moves within a conventional framework is in evidence here.
The back cover calls this "an acclaimed historic performance," and historic it certainly is. Several Royal Ballet dancers are shown in top form, including Ashton (as one of our heroine's ugly stepsisters!), Anthony Dowell as the prince, and the wonderful Antoinette Sibley as Cinderella. The production itself is filled with colorful sets and vivid costumes, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House plays Prokofiev's enchanting music under the steady baton of John Lanchberry. The video itself is simply rendered, and the unspectacular sound does the job. --Kevin Filipski
- Random House Book of Stories from the Ballet, The
by Geraldine McCaughrean.
- Starting Ballet (Usborne First Skills (Paperback))
- Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) / Symphonies D'Instrument Vent / Boulez, London Symphony Orchestra (1993) DVD
The bad boy of classical music at mid-century, Pierre Boulez made an infamous comment about burning down all the opera houses that was incendiary, to say the least, but it pointed to the fact that Boulez needed to burn bridges to pave the way for a new kind of music. That he became friends with, and later championed the music of, Igor Stravinsky, is odd if only because Stravinsky went through so many stylistic changes--from seductive exoticism to neo-baroque to 12-tone serialism--that Boulez probably didn't know what to make of the elder statesman.
But Boulez's maturation as both composer and conductor allowed him to view Stravinsky as a kindred soul restlessly searching for new forms of expression. These 1993 performances of two great Stravinsky works from before and after World War I--that still-bludgeoning masterpiece of rhythm and dance, The Rite of Spring (1913), and a lovely, brief work of subtle coloration, Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920)--not only give us two sides of Stravinsky but also demonstrate Boulez's innate understanding of such a wide musical palette. The London Philharmonic performs splendidly, and in an added bonus interview, Boulez discusses the importance and influence of The Rite of Spring, not only on him as a musician but on 20th century music as a whole. --Kevin Filipski
- Stravinsky - The Firebird & Les Noces / Royal Ballet (1982) DVD
The Royal Ballet's glorious Stravinsky Double Bill unleashes the spectacular production of "The Firebird" with the stark beauty of "Les Noces," magically choreographed by the legendary Nijinska. The all-star cast includes Zenaida Yanowsky and David Pickering as the Bride and Bridegroom in "Les Noces," Leanne Benjamin as The Firebird, Jonathan Cope as Ivan Tsarevich, Genesia Rosato as The Beautiful Tsarevna and as The Immortal Kostchei, David Drew, who recalls in an absorbing interview his role in Nijinska's original production of "Les Noces." As an added bonus, this unmissable DVD also includes exclusive behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage of the two ballets.
- Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress (1996)
Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress occupies two worlds. The story, the ironically moralizing attitudes, and many musical and verbal details are inspired by the 18th century. But it is modern in rhythm and harmony and in its psychology--Freudianism and existentialism in a powdered wig. Each production must find its own balance between these polarities, and this crisp, stylish treatment, taped at the Salzburg Festival in 1996, leans heavily toward modernity. The Faustian story of ne'er-do-well Tom Rakewell is told in symbols from its beginning (when he succumbs instantly to the temptations of the diabolical Nick Shadow) to the final mad scene. The props include a small, earthbound airplane, signifying Tom's flights of fancy, and some supernumeraries wearing ape costumes and capering about, symbolizing perhaps his obsessions. The costumes are modern: Tom in a T-shirt, Anne Trulove (his fiancée) in a dress so simple it looks like a slip, Nick in a mafia-style pinstripe suit. Designer Jorg Immendorff, a prominent German painter, is ingenious and self-indulgent in his staging. He portrays Tom as an artist not unlike himself. But if ever an opera had its visual elements clearly prescribed, it is The Rake's Progress--inspired by a set of engravings by William Hogarth that have no resemblance to Immendorff's staging.
There have been first-class productions that respected Hogarth's vision. One of them is sure to find its way to home video eventually, and those who are upset by visual tampering with an opera's original concept might want to wait. But the Salzburg audience applauds it thoroughly in this production. Stravinsky's music is well handled. Jerry Hadley brings both pathos and humor to the title role, Dawn Upshaw puts a lot of personality into the rather bland, goody-goody role of Anne, and they have an expert supporting cast. --Joe McLellan
- Superguides: Ballet
by Darcey Bussell, Patricia Linton
Young players will refer to these instructive "how-to" guides again and again. Superguides are incisive "how-to" books that answer every question a young sports enthusiast might have! These comprehensive guides in vibrant new jackets and under the new Superguides series title are perfect for young athletes. Young Enthusiasts, the original best-selling series, sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Superguides give valuable advice on everything from suitable clothing to strategy development. Each book includes detailed information on rules, objectives, scoring, and much more.
- Swan Lake
by Lisbeth Zwerger (Illustrator), Elizabeth Zwerger, Marianne Martens, Peter Ilich Lebedinoe Ozero Tchaikovsky
Swan Lake is perhaps the best-loved ballet of all time. Hans Christian Andersen Medal-winner Lisbeth Zwerger brings her singular vision to a glorious picture-book adaptation of the haunting story of an enchanted swan princess. She has based her version on Tchaikovsky's original 1877 ballet, which had a happy ending, unlike the later, better-known, 1893 version. Her illustrations, luminous, lyrical, filled with grace and beauty, evoke the brilliance of the ballet and the universal appeal of this beloved fairy tale.
- Swan Lake (Paperstar)
Rachel Isadora, Peter Ilich Lebedinoe Ozero Tchaikovsky
- Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake / Mezentseva, Zaklinsky, Kirov Ballet (1992) DVD
This is a musically sensitive and superbly danced interpretation of the best-loved ballet in the Russian repertoire. Swan Lake videos come in various sizes and configurations, among which the Kirov has special claims. The ballet was not well received in its premiere production (Bolshoi, 1877); its success dates from the 1895 revival in St. Petersburg, in which the Tchaikovsky score was rearranged and a happy ending substituted for the original conclusion in which the hero and heroine die. This production is based on that revival and justifies the Kirov company's proprietary feeling about Swan Lake.
The solo dancing communicates effectively, not only Galina Mezentseva's work in the dual role of Odette/Odile, but Konstantin Zaklinsky, who is both athletic and graceful (note, for example, "Siegfried's Variation" in Chapter 20). But what makes this Swan Lake special is the precision and discipline of the Kirov corps. --Joe McLellan
- Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, Charmoli DVD
The American Ballet Theater version of the Tchaikovsky classic, a 1977 studio rendition directed by Tony Charmoli, has become a holiday perennial on PBS stations and home video. It's a favorite of parents who want to give their kids the gift of culture--and with good reason. There's a loose fairy tale plot to keep dance neophytes interested, and Boris Aronson's eye-candy production design is a series of lavish dioramas. From an imperial-era Russian Christmas party out of Tolstoy, a young girl named Clara (Gelsey Kirkland) is whisked in dreams to an imaginary world populated by the animated creations of the wizard toy maker Drosselmeier (Alexander Minz), who prances on his stick-thin limbs like a Dickens illustration come to life. The main attraction is, of course, Mikhail Baryshnikov, one of the greatest classical dancers of the century, at his absolute peak of athleticism and precision. An opening slow-motion montage diagrams his fabled smoothness of execution, elegant airborne trajectories that have a feather-light perfection. Music lovers who know only "The Nutcracker Suite" will relish the chance to hear this great score all the way through, conducted with lilt and vigor by Kenneth Schermerhorn. --David Chute
- Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty / Durante, Solymosi, Dowell, Royal Ballet (1994)
This ballet may be Tchaikovsky's grandest achievement, The Nutcracker's eternal popularity notwithstanding. And when in the hands (and feet!) of the Royal Ballet, whose superlative 1994 production has been taped for posterity, the composer's singular genius for dance becomes palpable to even the most casual viewers. With choreography by Marius Petipa (who updates Kenneth Macmillan's and Anthony Dowell's work from earlier stagings) and with Dowell's lovely production, the Royal Ballet demonstrates yet again its preeminence in the world of ballet. Viviana Durante dances the princess with otherworldly grace and fluidity, and her partner Zoltan Solymosi's prince is impossibly agile and equally graceful. Dowell even contributes wonderful comic relief as the evil fairy. Barry Wordsworth and the Royal Orchestra do Tchaikovsky's beautiful score, and the remarkable dancers, justice. A ballet company at its considerable performing peak has been preserved for all. --Kevin Filipski