Remember Jody Sawyer? How about Eva, Maureen, and Charlie? Back in Y2K, they were among the most popular faces of the dance world, thanks to the film Center Stage, a cult classic for dancers and fans of all stripes.
A decade passed, and we met Nina and Lily, who duked it out in Black Swan as we cringed at the deadly competition they faced.
But before Center Stage and Black Swan, there was Ballerina: Edward... Stewart’s acclaimed novel that follows two young women into the cutthroat world of professional dance.
Now, for the first time, this classic novel is available as an ebook, bringing it to a new generation of readers around the world.
Publishers Weekly called Ballerina “the quintessential ballet novel, long overdue . . . Fun, bitchy, gossipy, and, finally, dead serious in its understanding of what being in ballet is all about.”
It’s not everyday that Publishers Weekly calls a book “bitchy.” But in the case of Ballerina, it’s apt; this is a story about two teenage dancers and one chance to make it.
Stephanie Lang and Christine Avery meet in ballet school. Although they share the same dream—to become great dancers—they could not be more different. Ballet is in Stephanie’s blood; her mother, Anna, is a former dancer who lives to see her daughter achieve the fame she herself never attained. Christine has lived a sheltered life, secure in the love of her family. (But her privileged upbringing conceals a devastating secret.)
Stewart’s story is so en pointe (forgive the pun) that the Boston Globe wrote, “Ballerina bears the same relationship to the world of dance as The Godfather does to the Mafia.” That’s no small thing.
From the thrill and terror of auditions through years of meticulous training to landing a coveted spot in a professional company, Stephanie and Christine relentlessly pursue their ambitions. As they give their all to dance, they become inseparable—until they are torn apart by their passion for the same man, a brilliant Russian dancer whose seductive, mercurial temperament will have unforeseen consequences for them all. (Doesn’t it remind you of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s role as Russian defector and ladies’ man in the 1977 film The Turning Point?)
If you like stories about dancers, read Ballerina. (And watch all of the aforementioned films if you haven’t seen them, and tell us about your other favorite books and movies about dancers in the comments!)
For more on these books, check out the Shake Davis series.