Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

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Determination meets dance in this memoir by the history-making ballerina.

In this instant New York Times bestseller, Misty Copeland makes history, telling the story of her journey to become the first African-American principal ballerina at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, underprivileged, and anxious thirteen-year-old to become one of America’s most groundbreaking dancers . A true prodigy, she was attempting in months roles that take most dancers years to master. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life, she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.

With an insider’s passion, Misty opens a window into the life of an artist who lives life center stage, from behind the scenes at her first classes to her triumphant roles in some of the world’s most iconic ballets. A sensational memoir as “sensitive” and “clear-eyed” (The Washington Post) as her dancing, Life in Motion is a story of passion, identity and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.
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About the author

Misty Copeland made history by becoming the third African-American ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, the first in decades. A recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame, she currently lives in New York City. Visit her online at MistyCopeland.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 4, 2014
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781476738000
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Performing Arts / Dance / Classical & Ballet
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Miss Grant has made more information available in one book than we have ever had before. Teacher's organizations would do well to consider the use of Miss Grant's Technical Manual as an official textbook." — Dance Magazine
Teacher recommended, Gail Grant's Technical Manual has long been one of the most popular and effective ballet reference guides. Completely revised and updated, this third edition is virtually a new work and should be owned by every student, dance teacher, choreographer, and ballet enthusiast — even those who purchased the second edition. Extensive revision, expansion, and the inclusion of more than 300 new terms have added immeasurably to the value of this concise, definitive manual.
Moving from "abstract ballet" and "adage, adagio" to "working leg" and "wrapped position," the book fully describes and defines over 1,100 ballet steps (saul de chat, jeté enveloppé, failli, entrechat six, etc.), movements and poses (arabesque, épaulement, attitude, en arrière, retiré, à terre, dégagé, etc.), and other expressions and concepts. For each, first a phonetic transcription is provided, then a literal translation, and finally an explanation of how the step is performed, the pose captured, or the movement executed, of how the concept fits in with actual ballet dancing, or of the purpose or function of the idea. A pronunciation guide, cross-references to alternate names for similar steps and positions that vary from the Russian to the French or Italian schools, and a bibliography are all invaluable aids.
But the most important supplement is the 15-page pictorial section, drawn by the author, who is both a successful ballet teacher and dancer. Keyed to the dictionary (and vice-versa), these diagrams show clearly the exact foot, leg, arm, and body positions for the proper execution of many of the more common ballet steps and movements. This essential and easy reference is a must for every teacher, aspiring dancer, and ballet class.
Although the stars of Russian ballet Anna Pavlova and Tamara Karsavina possessed a national manner of dancing, there was no truly Russian school of dancing until the 1930s. The development of this school was largely due to Mme. Vaganova (1879–1951), not only a great dancer but also the teacher of Galina Ulanova and many others and an unsurpassed theoretician.
The principles of Vaganova's system are presented in this well-known book. Mme. Vaganova's aim of creating a personal approach to the Russian dance was based on the critical assimilation of the experience of her contemporaries. Her ability to choose the best of what had been accomplished in the various ballet traditions (French, Italian, and Russian) and combine these into a unified teaching practice in itself amounted to a new school of dance. She firmly believed that the teaching process should be a planned exercise, ever changing with innovations in the dance. She sought from her pupils emotional expressiveness, strictness of form, a resolute, energetic manner of performance, and the understanding of the underlying coordination of movements.
Her book discusses all basic principles of ballet, grouping movements by fundamental types. Chapters cover battements, rotary movements of the legs, the arms, poses of the classical dance, connecting and auxiliary movements, jumps, beats, point work, and turns as well as material for a sample lesson. Diagrams show clearly the exact foot, leg, arm, and body positions for the proper execution of many steps and movements. The result is a fundamental theory of dance that offers dancers, teachers, and ballet lovers information often difficult to locate in other books.
118 illustrations.

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