Title: Apollo’s Angels
Author: Jennifer Homans
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Ballet
Audio: 23.4 hours
Publisher: Tanto Audio
Book Rating: 4/5
Audio Rating: 4/5
If you are looking for an in-depth history of ballet, this is it. Y’all know I’m a dancer myself, so obviously I have a lot more interest in the subject matter than a lay person. I’ve taken Bournenville’s barre, I’ve danced La Sylphide, I have all of Cecchetti’s syllabi in my muscle memory, and I’ve cursed those who invented pointe shoes. So take this review for what it’s worth, written by a lifelong ballerina.
This book contains so much history and so much detail, that it really is amazing to think that anyone could have even written it. The research that went into this must have been incredible. The book starts where ballet started, in France. It then moves along with history to the rest of Europe (most notably, Denmark and Italy), Russia, England, and America. We see the key players and styles on the way.
One fault I had with this was personal, the treatment of Enrico Cecchetti and the Cecchetti method of ballet wasn’t as detailed as some of the other players/styles. After listening to the Bournenville section, I thought I’d get a similar one for my own style and its master. But I was left wanting.
But overall, I have to give Ms. Homan’s a brava for this one.
I started this one in print way back when it first came out, but I tend to get bogged down in nonfiction in print, so I picked up the audio instead. As I sit here, I can’t think of much to say about Kirsten Potter’s narration, which is basically want you want in nonfiction, I think.