Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson

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Item:9781499805925

Description

Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson
by Leda Schubert and Theodore Taylor III
Foreward by Misty Copeland

This beautiful picture book tells the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and an inspiration to Misty Copeland.

Raven Wilkinson was born on February 2, 1935, in New York City. From the time she was a little girl, all she wanted to do was dance. On Raven’s ninth birthday, her uncle gifted her with ballet lessons, and she completely fell in love with dance. While she was a student at Columbia University, Raven auditioned for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and was finally accepted on her third try, even after being told she couldn’t dance with them because of her skin color.

When she started touring with her troupe in the United States in 1955, Raven encountered much racism in the South, but the applause, alongside the opportunity to dance, made all the hardship worth it. Several years later she would dance for royalty with the Dutch National Ballet and regularly performed with the New York City Opera until she was fifty.

Theodore Taylor III`s unique, heavy line style of illustration brings a deeper level of fluidity and life to the work, and Misty Copeland`s beautifully written foreword will delight ballet and dance fans of all ages.

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: little bee books (January 16, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches


 

History

Ballet

In classic or contemporary ballet, dancing may tell a story, express a mood, or simply reflect the music in movement. Ballet as part of staged performances originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and from there spread to France. The creation of classical ballet as we know it today occurred during the reign of the art-loving French king Louis XIV in the mid-17th century. During the Romantic era, ballet technique evolved to express new ideas, most notably with women dancing en point, or on their toes, allowing them to appear weightless and otherworldly.
 
Among the choreographers who helped bring ballet into the modern age by exploring new visual and dramatic styles are George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and—bridging the worlds of classical dance and Broadway—Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins.

 

 

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