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Body of a Dancer

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
2011 Finalist for ForeWord Review's Book of the Year Award in Autobiography/Memoir

"A remarkably clear-eyed descent into New York's surreal world of modern dance peopled by the obsessed, dispossessed, sexy, suicidal, brutal, broke, and absurd."—Lance Olsen, author of Nietzsche's Kisses

The award-winning writer Renée E. D'Aoust draws from her experiences as a modern dancer in
Paperback, 171 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by Etruscan Press (first published November 8th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 104)
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Sophfronia Scott
Mar 08, 2016 Sophfronia Scott rated it really liked it
Even if you think you know nothing about dance you probably know, or at least can guess, two aspects of it: 1.) Dancers are body conscious, sometimes to the extreme, and 2.) their bodies experience fantastic pain to bring a dream to the stage.

Renée E. D'Aoust gives these aspects their due in her insightful collection of essays recalling her time in the 1990s as a New York City dancer aspiring to the Martha Graham Dance Company. But what makes this book truly soar is when she goes beyond the phys
Nancy Rossman
May 01, 2012 Nancy Rossman rated it really liked it
I have often sat in the audience in a dance recital, performance and admired so much the athleticism and grace without much thought to all that goes into it. Of course we have all heard the horrors of the diet regime and then The Black Swan, to showcase the pushy parent and the paranoia. So, I was in awe of all the great descriptive passages to take the "audience" backstage and home to the apartment with aching joints, raw skin, etc. I really had no idea.

And still the author conveys her love of
Alyson Hagy
Oct 02, 2012 Alyson Hagy rated it it was amazing
This is the first dance-related memoir I've ever read I was drawn to the book after hearing the author give a bold, funny, dramatic, moving reading from it. For me, successful memoir usually achieves a remarkable balance of voice and structure, and BODY OF A DANCER does that and more. The structure is innovative, and D'Aoust writes lyrically and honestly about the challenges of dance, particularly her time at the Martha Graham School. She's also clear-eyes about the costs of art on the body and ...more
Grete DeAngelo
Jun 03, 2013 Grete DeAngelo rated it liked it
This book reads like a series of essays about the author's life as a dancer, told in chronological order as "acts." My favorite parts of her memoir were those where she described the effects that dance had on her body and the constant pain and fatigue she endured. She also writes about the mental anguish, even to the point of suicide, that some of the other dancers faced. The most poignant moment for me was near the end when she described attending a performance as an audience member and acknowl ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book being a woman, being a dancer, being a New Yorker, and just living in a body.
Ginger Marcinkowski
Jul 15, 2012 Ginger Marcinkowski rated it really liked it
A haunting insight into the world of a dancer. This young woman's journey gives a reader the behind-the-scenes look at the sacrifices needed to make it in the dance world. No one could walk away from this story without being moved by the beautiful, yet painful story of the people on the back side of the stage. Enjoyed the read!
Apr 14, 2012 Roxanne marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction, yoga
This interests me from a yoga perspective, since I've taught yoga to a couple of dancers and the way their bodies work is so utterly different from that of non-dancers.
Feb 11, 2016 Renée rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: dancebooks
Foreword Reviews "Book of the Year" Finalist. Published by Etruscan Press, Dec. 2011.
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