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Boston Ballerina: A Dancer, a Company, an Era

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As a charter member of Boston Ballet and its predecessor, New England Civic Ballet, Laura Young has been affiliated with the company longer than any other dancer in its history. This book is both a memoir of her personal journey and a fascinating account of Boston Ballet’s rise from a regional troupe to the internationally recognized company that it is today. It is intersp As a charter member of Boston Ballet and its predecessor, New England Civic Ballet, Laura Young has been affiliated with the company longer than any other dancer in its history. This book is both a memoir of her personal journey and a fascinating account of Boston Ballet’s rise from a regional troupe to the internationally recognized company that it is today. It is interspersed with ruminations on the history of ballet, stories from the company’s Balanchine-influenced early years under founder E. Virginia Williams, and recollections from noteworthy tours, including those featuring the legendary Rudolf Nureyev, with whom Young was frequently paired. After retiring from the stage, Young has continued her affiliation with Boston Ballet, both as an administrator and a teacher. Working in collaboration with Janine Parker, Young has written a lively, informed, and entertaining memoir.


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As a charter member of Boston Ballet and its predecessor, New England Civic Ballet, Laura Young has been affiliated with the company longer than any other dancer in its history. This book is both a memoir of her personal journey and a fascinating account of Boston Ballet’s rise from a regional troupe to the internationally recognized company that it is today. It is intersp As a charter member of Boston Ballet and its predecessor, New England Civic Ballet, Laura Young has been affiliated with the company longer than any other dancer in its history. This book is both a memoir of her personal journey and a fascinating account of Boston Ballet’s rise from a regional troupe to the internationally recognized company that it is today. It is interspersed with ruminations on the history of ballet, stories from the company’s Balanchine-influenced early years under founder E. Virginia Williams, and recollections from noteworthy tours, including those featuring the legendary Rudolf Nureyev, with whom Young was frequently paired. After retiring from the stage, Young has continued her affiliation with Boston Ballet, both as an administrator and a teacher. Working in collaboration with Janine Parker, Young has written a lively, informed, and entertaining memoir.

42 review for Boston Ballerina: A Dancer, a Company, an Era

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book brought back so many memories for me! I was living in Boston during the time period when ballet in America really took off, the 70s and early 80s, and I pretty much went to every performance of the Boston Ballet. I even took lessons for a number of years from some of the same teachers Laura had in the very same South End studio (pre-renovation) as an adult beginner and lived one street over from it. Anyway, the names of the dancers in the company, the guest artists, the description of This book brought back so many memories for me! I was living in Boston during the time period when ballet in America really took off, the 70s and early 80s, and I pretty much went to every performance of the Boston Ballet. I even took lessons for a number of years from some of the same teachers Laura had in the very same South End studio (pre-renovation) as an adult beginner and lived one street over from it. Anyway, the names of the dancers in the company, the guest artists, the description of the neighborhood brought floods of memories and I really loved reading about the lives of the dancers that I felt I knew from seeing them perform and around the studio. But the writing was kind of dry and far too detailed in the descriptions of choreography of certain dancers for non-balletomanes so it lagged at times and I also found myself skipping over large parts of some chapters. For me, the four stars is mostly for nostalgia and the updates of the lives of people I felt I knew back then.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    Unfortunately, I did not take a closer look at the synopsis of this book -this was more of a biography/history of the Boston Ballet company than it was about the ballerina Laura Young. I enjoy the ballet to the point that I want to read about the struggles and lives of ballerina's but this was heavier on the history of the company and was boring to me. If one lives in Boston AND is a balletomane, then this book is going to be perfect for you. *ARC provided by the publisher. Unfortunately, I did not take a closer look at the synopsis of this book -this was more of a biography/history of the Boston Ballet company than it was about the ballerina Laura Young. I enjoy the ballet to the point that I want to read about the struggles and lives of ballerina's but this was heavier on the history of the company and was boring to me. If one lives in Boston AND is a balletomane, then this book is going to be perfect for you. *ARC provided by the publisher.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I enjoyed every page of this book! It was so great to follow Laura Young as she developed as a dancer, to hear about her parents' involvement as volunteers, and to understand the day to day joys and pains that make up such a career. What a resource we in Boston have in Laura! She was with the BB from its inception. Who better to tell the tale? I so enjoyed hearing about the ballet dancers that I loved in long past years in fun and poignant detail! And, lo and behold, there was the name of a mode I enjoyed every page of this book! It was so great to follow Laura Young as she developed as a dancer, to hear about her parents' involvement as volunteers, and to understand the day to day joys and pains that make up such a career. What a resource we in Boston have in Laura! She was with the BB from its inception. Who better to tell the tale? I so enjoyed hearing about the ballet dancers that I loved in long past years in fun and poignant detail! And, lo and behold, there was the name of a modern day up and comer mentioned in the last pages of the book, right there in a recent playbill. I just attended the ballet last weekend ( Genius at Play) and am looking forward to the spring selections with more anticipation than ever. Thanks Laura!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin Bova

    Having grown up watching La, this was a trip down memory lane. I loved hearing about the early days of Boston Ballet. Written in her "speech," I felt every moment of her story. Having grown up watching La, this was a trip down memory lane. I loved hearing about the early days of Boston Ballet. Written in her "speech," I felt every moment of her story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maura

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Schrumpf

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kara

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sashadmo

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gulick

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Harris

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  16. 5 out of 5

    Akari

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katy Shander

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Wells

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Chen

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Garland

  21. 5 out of 5

    Flaubertian

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kara

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna Gibson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Martell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Sue

  31. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  32. 4 out of 5

    Anya Smithy

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lise

  35. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  36. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

  37. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Norton

  38. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  39. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Dempster

  41. 5 out of 5

    Rori

  42. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

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