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Homans, Jennifer (Author); Balanchine, George; Stravinsky, Igor & Other Subjects. APOLLO'S ANGELS: A HISTORY OF BALLET. New York City, NY: Random House, 2010. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 645 pages. Fine/Fine.

Book-length account on subject. One of the best books on ballet ever written in our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Jennifer Homans' "Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet". Her deeply moving history of ballet. For Homans, ballet is a metaphor for art itself. Ballet is not dance. Anyone can dance, which is about life's vitality. Ballet demands the exact, mediated opposite: Precision, rigor, purity. In a word, art. Ballet - art - is about transcendence: The high leap we identify with ballet is transcendence itself, about a higher and exalted state of being that we often call grace. "Grace" is now undervalued and rarely invoked in both demotic and hieratic discourse. There is no grace, and a lot of vulgarity, for example, in contemporary culture as well as Ivory Tower academe. Like all great histories, "Apollo's Angels" makes a larger point: A culture that does not have a notion of transcendence is an inferior one, and will not have an enduring legacy. Often described as "Dionysian", "Le Sacre du Printemps" ("The Rite of Spring"), the sublime Nijinsky/Stravinsky collaboration that radically changed the course of ballet, is instead "Apollonian", the re-presentation of primitive trance-ritual through ballet's highly formalized movements, steps, and gestures. The virgin sacrifice in "Le Sacre du Printemps" is the primal version of the sacrifice in "Swan Lake" (and countless other ballets) that the prima ballerina-heroine makes. An absolute "must-have" title for Jennifer Homans and ballet aficionado/collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare copy thus. Selected as one of the Ten Best Books of 2010 by The New York Times. One of the most brilliant American critic/writers of our time. A fine collectible copy. . ISBN 1400060605. $150.00

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