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Portraits: Dancing Through Fire by Kathryn…
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Portraits: Dancing Through Fire (2005)

by Kathryn Lasky

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  1. 10
    Marie, Dancing by Carolyn Meyer (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Another story about a young ballet dancer working with Degas and the difficulties of life in the ballet corps. In Dancing Through Fire, it's his series of ballerina paintings. In Marie, Dancing, it's to create his well-known statue.
  2. 00
    Émilie's Voice by Susanne Dunlap (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
  3. 00
    Marie: An Invitation to Dance (Girlhood Journeys) by Kathleen V. Kudlinski (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
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I like books inspired by paintings, because it's always interesting to see how the author takes that single moment in space and time and 'translates' it into a novel. Kathryn Lasky's Dancing Through Fire was inspired by Degas' series of ballerina paintings, and tells an absorbing little story of Sylvie, a girl who dreams of becoming a prima ballerina as Paris is shaken by political turmoil. The tension of the city's residents and the grim reality of Sylvie's poverty is contrasted sharply with the fantasy world the ballet brings to life in each performance to great effect.

Sidenote: Degas makes several appearances in the story, which is fine, but the way Sylvie fixates on him is strange and seems contrived, out of step with the rest of the character. I mean, just because the author used his art as the launching point doesn't mean he has to be forced into every chapter. *shrug* It's a great story overall, but this was a bit of a pet peeve for me. ( )
1 vote makaiju | Apr 9, 2009 |
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The small girl stood in just her underwear in front of the three grown-ups.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 043971009X, Hardcover)

Like the captivating bestseller, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, this exciting new series explores the stories behind the girls featured in some of the world's most dazzling paintings.

Welcome to 19th century Paris, and the world of Degas's dancers. 13-year-old Sylvie is one of the pupils at the Paris Opera Ballet, where tutus must always be starched and pointe shoes fresh. Sylvie dreams of being a prima ballerina, but her height is a problem: she is too little. When the Franco-Prussian war begins in 1870, Paris is soon under siege and Sylvie is thrown into turmoil and tragedy. Against the fiery backdrop of war, the beauty of the ballet sustains and strengthens Sylvie. Before long, her talent and drive allows her to achieve her goal--and she graces the stage as a star.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:45 -0400)

Sylvie dreams of being a prima ballerina. When the Franco-Prussian war begins in 1870, Sylvie is thrown into turmoil and tragedy. Sylvie must rely on the strength that ballet gives her in order to survive and acheive her goal.

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