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Dancing For Degas (2009)

by Kathryn Wagner(Favorite Author)
3.64 of 5 Votes: 1
0385343868 (ISBN13: 9780385343862)
review 1: A detailed and overall entertaining account of a fictional young French woman who becomes a ballerina and model for the famous Impressionist painter, Edgar Degas. Unfortunately, while the author paints a reasonable picture of Paris at that time, the workings of the ballet and the ballerinas, and a plausible impression of degas' persona, she exaggerates too much for dramatic effect. Most especially she sets up a rigid formal requirement of older ballerinas to prostitute themselves to ballet patrons to keep their jobs. While no doubt ballerinas may have frequently become mistresses to make their fortune in an era of few women's rights, and were certainly preyed upon by rich men degas pictured viewing them backstage, no hard and fast rule existed whereby every ballerina over ... morethe age of 25 had to submit to sex with whatever man wanted her in order to remain a dancer. This is misleading and unfair to suggest for the sake of enhancing tension to set up the implausible snatched from the clutches of misfortune happily ever after conclusion of her book.
review 2: Ugh. As a former dancer and a fan of "Girl with a Pearl Earring," I can honestly say this book was awful. Tense changes in the middle of a chapter, the repetition of the step 'ballone' (I did ballet for 15+ years and I have no clue what that is-just looked up the definition, and I'm pretty sure that the author didn't either given the way she used the term- it's a bounce), the protagonist being an idiotic fangirl for Degas, and worst of all- the concept that all ballerinas are silly whores. I'm sure that there were a few who practiced that, just as there were opera singers who had benefactors of that nature, but it would not be so openly approved by the Paris Opera. The Paris Opera Ballet has had a long-lasting reputation as one of the best and toughest companies in the world, so the idea that they'd be fine with the dancers sleeping around is just laughable and a disgrace to the real life dancers. Avoid this book at all costs. less
Reviews (see all)
The characters were well-drawn. Plot was well-developed. An engaging read!
Found in National Art Museum store
It was alright, and quite fun.
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