T is for tutu – an alphabetic introduction into ballet
Do you have a young dancer in your house ?
T is for Tutu is a scrumptious, adorable book filled with beautiful, colour paintings by Wilson Ong which they will love.
In a large size format, the paintings bring the letters of the ballet alphabet to life and author Sonia Rodriguez’ text will help young readers explore many aspects of ballet. Rodriguez is a Principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, and along with her husband, four times figure skating champion Kurt Browning (who has also written an alphabet for ice-skating) has somehow found the time to write a book and get it published.
Inside the book you’ll find page after colourful page filled with a wide variety of ballet terminology in just enough detail for a young reader’s imagination to be sparked and to want to find out more.
There is a gorgeous short poem that accompanies each ballet alphabet letter, starting with the history of ballet and ending with zippers!
“A is for Anybody – anybody can dance.
All you have to do is give yourself a chance.
Follow the rhythm, move to the beat,
and you’re already dancing.
Isn’t that neat ?”
In between, the authors take the reader through the words that form part of a dancer’s ballet life, including : ballet class, the five ballet positions, dance exams, mime, injury and nutrition. The role and importance of the male dancer (K is for ‘King’) is demonstrated, because ballet is not just for girls, as well as originality (that’s you), pointe shoes, Recital (in the UK and some other countries this would be called an end of year performance; in the US it’s called a Recital), stretching, the magic of being on stage, and technique, including the Vaganova method of ballet training.
Because we had ‘Theater’ under ‘T’, the tutu of the title actually comes under ‘Y’ (for yellow). Quality of movement (the lines of a dancers body) and the importance of striving for quiet landings, not just a great jump, are emphasized, as well as music and that ballet staple, the leotard, which is seen more and more on stage in new works and not only in the rehearsal studio, where it can be regarded as a type of uniform by the ballet students especially if the school has a regulation colour. The versatility of the leotard in allowing a freedom of movement for the dancer as well as allowing the teacher a clear view of a student’s lines, is what makes it so invaluable.
“D is for a dance that is made for two.
Do you know what it’s called ?
I just gave you a clue.”
This beautiful book is a taster to get you started with the basics and it’s clever structure and inviting paintings will have you hooked on ballet!
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