Taking Flight: From War Orphan To Star Ballerina

Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life. At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is now the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet’s most exciting rising stars.

Mermaid Queen

As a child growing up in Australia, Annette Kellerman was a frail ugly duckling who dreamed of becoming a graceful ballerina. With courage and determination, she confronted a crippling illness to become an internationally known record-setting athlete who revolutionized the sport of swimming for women, a movie star who invented water ballet, and a fashion revolutionary who modernized the swimsuit.

The White Ballets

The term Ballet Blancs, or white ballets refers to the identical white costumes worn by the dancers in the corps de ballet.  There are several white ballets, but the most significant among them are Swan Lake, Giselle, and La bayadere.  Lucky indeed, is the yong dancer who performs in some of them during her career.

Rajka Kupesic was one such ballerina.  Now she is an author, artist, and dance school director who love to introduce young people to the magic of performance, staging, music, and artistry of this Romantic style.  Here, she tells the stories behind the ballets, and as well, adds her own experiences and thoughts on her art, to bring readers onto the state and into the studio with her.  Four years in the making, The White Ballets is a keepsake edition for anyone, especially aspiring dancers, first-time theatergoers, and recital debutants.

Firebird

“In the shadow of King Vaslav’s Palace was a marvelous garden, and in the middle of that garden stood a tree that grew apples of solid gold, each one as dazzling as the sun.”Someone is stealing the king’s famous golden apples, and the culprit must be found. The palace gardener spots the luminous Firebird snatching the apples in the night. The king’s two oldest sons are sent to capture it but fail. So Ivan, the youngest son, must go on the dangerous quest, befriending a gray wolf, winning both the Firebird and the heart of the beautiful Princess Helen. Saviour Pirotta’s powerful retelling of this classic folktale plumbs the heart of human fears, courage, and love.

Alphabet City Ballet

balletMarisol has always loved to dance–from the salsa at family parties to the boom boxes on Loisada Avenue. Then she wins a scholarship to ballet school and discovers an inspiring new world of beauty and discipline. When violence erupts in Alphabet City, Marisol’s dream starts to slip away. To keep dancing she must make heartbreaking choices–perhaps impossible ones.

Ivy And Bean – Book 6 (Ivy & Bean)

Finally! After begging their parents for ballet lessons, Ivy and Bean finally get what they want…well, not exactly. Much to their surprise, it turns out ballet lessons do not include karate chops and roundhouse kicks to the villain’s heart. The girls have no interest in learning how to dance gracefully, but they promised their parents they would finish the entire ballet course! When it comes time for Ivy and Bean to participate in the ocean-themed class recital, the girls must figure out a way to get out of it without breaking their promises.