Surreysmum's Reviews > Once A Dancer . . .: An Autobiography

Once A Dancer . . . by Allegra Kent
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's review
Oct 29, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2010, biography, dance, owned
Read from April 15 to 28, 2010

This autobiography kept me consistently interested and entertained. Kent has a penchant for idiosyncratic but still highly readable prose; it's not so much, I think, that she's a true language-lover, but she's obviously very aware of the language surface and can play with alliteration and metaphor till the cows come home, albeit sometimes at the expense of sense. Unfortunately her great heyday with NYCB came before the explosion of ballet in the 70s and home video in the 80s, and thus I think I have relatively little of her work on videotape; however, I look forward to hunting down what I have. Before I picked up the autobiography, I had a vague notion of "power" coupled with her name, and that is borne out by her description of her love for great leaps as a child and as a young dancer. I was saddened by some of the incidents in her personal life that she recounted, and of course fascinated by the personal insights on generations of ballet illuminati in the Balanchine circle. Definitely a keeper.

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