Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sophie Flack. BUNHEADS

Hannah is living out her dream dancing for the prestigious Manhattan Ballet company. Ever since she was a little girl, she's sacrificed and worked diligently to work her way up to this point. She's enjoyed every minute of it. Her daily life consists of rehearsals and multiple perfomances, as well as yoga and pilates workouts. She lives and breathes for her dancing career. She is is currently dancing in the corps de ballet, meaning she isn't a soloist, so she works even more diligently hoping to be promoted to star.

One rare night off, Hannah visits her cousin's West Village restaurant to eat dinner where she meets handsome Jacob. She falls for his verve and his excitement about exploring everything the world has to offer. He wants to learn Italian to watch Fellini movies without subtitles. He's majoring in philosophy and art history and ecology.

Jacob and Hannah hit it off right away, but Hannah has a strict schedule and she has to cancel on Jacob often. Jacob is patient, but Hannah realizes that he won't wait on her forever. She must decide what her true priorities are before it's too late.

I've always been fascinated by the world of ballet. I took ballet briefly as a young girl (didn't we all?), but I don't really remember much. I've always considered it such a beautiful art. But I realize the strength involved too. Ballet dancers are a curious combination of strength and beauty. I love the details about being a dancer that this book offers. The author was a dancer for nine years with the New York City Ballet, so this is an accurate account of the daily life of a dancer.

Intellectually, one knows that being a dancer takes a lot of work, but to read about the day to day schedule of a ballet dancer is something different. I realize now how much these dancers really give up to live this life. Also, the toll that the schedule takes on their bodies is enormous, particularly considering that they do not nourish themselves like an athlete would. They actually try to do so much on so little food. It's amazing and a little frightening.

I really enjoyed the book. It's a well written, fascinating look into the inner workings of a ballet company. For more about the author check our her website here.