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A Dancer in Wartime: One Girl's Journey from the Blitz to Sadler's Wells
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A Dancer in Wartime: One Girl's Journey from the Blitz to Sadler's Wells

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  96 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Gillian Lynne is one of the world's pre-eminent choreographers, the groundbreaking creative force behind blockbusters such as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. But she started her career as a ballerina, leaning to dance alongside Margot Fonteyn, Moira Shearer, Beryl Grey and Frederick Ashton during the WWII. A Dancer in Wartime tells the story of Gillian's extraordinary c ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Random House UK
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Macklin
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this in a day. Couldn't put it down! A neat look at World War II from a different perspective.
Meggie
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A dancer in a wartime" was a nice surprise for me. I wasn't expecting it to be truly interesting and i certainly haven't thought i could identify myself with Mrs Lynne. However, to my great surprise, it turned out I did. I'm not saying content of this book will satisfy everyone. I'm sure people who are or had ever been 'on a stage' or have been performing as an artist / performer ( no matter if as a dancer, musician, actor, etc.). These people should at least give it a go. Mrs Gillienne uses ba ...more
Victoria Sigsworth
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not many of the reviewers have rated this book with 5 stars.I find this surprising as I loved this book and found it unputdownable! I have to say that some people have been downright awful with their comments and without any constructive comments. I found this book easy to lose myself in and could go to sleep with thoughts of this book in my head. I also found it to be cosy even though it has some tragic aspects to it but I loved all the writing about the ballet productions. If you are a ballet ...more
Stacia
The book started off great! Through the first half I couldn't put it down.

The second half moved too slowly. She gave too many details... I danced this part at this theater, then we went here and I danced this part at this theater. (Although, her humility shines through.) It ended on her 20th birthday... she's 90 (2016). I would have liked it more if she talked about her time in the Sadler Wells ballet and dancing as a part of the ENSA in more cursory terms and talked about how she became a chor
...more
Fluffychick
Gillian Lynne (for me at least) is famous for her choreography of ALW musicals, particularly Phantom of the Opera (as my all time favourite musical!!) but I was pretty ignorant about her background and early dancing career. This autobiography charts her childhood and early ballet career at Sadler's Well through the war, taking in the tragic death of her mother, the trials of London in wartime and her nomadic existence between loving relatives and ballet schools.
I loved this book,it was a enthus
...more
Radford Secondary Library
London during the Blitz was a time of hardship, heroism and hope. For Gillian Lynne - a budding ballerina - it was also a time of great change as she was evacuated from war-torn London to a crumbling mansion, where dance classes took place in the faded ballroom. Life was hard, but her talent and dedication shone through and an astonishing journey ensued, which saw Gillian dancing a triumphant debut in 'Swan Lake', performing in the West End with doodlebugs falling and touring a devastated Europe ...more
Denise
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Although not the best written book ever with rather a gushing style,this is a good read. Gillian tells an amazing story of persistence and resilience that many people could learn from. Who now would carry on dancing on a bad ankle? Who would dance all day on such a limited wartime diet? Gillian Lynne tells an uplifting tale of her hard work and success. I would love to read more about her subsequent career choreographing and directing some amazing musicals.
Penny
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
I'd been looking forward to reading this but it was a big disappointment. Superficial, twee and irritating in its sugariness, I abandoned it after a few chapters. Life's too short and there are many other far, far superior memoirs of this period.
Shannon Purcell-underwood
An semi interesting read if you are a dancer or dance enthusiast. Very superficial character development and not very engaging.
Ruth
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition


I wanted to like this book but found the pace too slow and the details too abundant. It read a bit more like a diary than a story.
Zoe James-williams
great biography of a dancer through the second world war and the emergence on The Royal Ballet
Andrea Lightfoot
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book I was given last year as a Christmas present, fitting as I had recently got back into doing ballet, and I still find it interesting and inspiring.
Aisha
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LOVED THIS BOOK! I could barely put it down. The style which it is written in is so nice to read.
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