Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carlos Acosta's No Way Home


I love reading dancers' memoirs - when I was a child, I read and reread obsessively ballerina Claude Bessy's Danseuse Etoile, in which she recounts her career at the Paris Opera. She has become a controversial figure in France, but back then she taught me about wanting to be tough and independent.
Now, Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta's No Way Home has become a new favorite (along with the memoirs of Allegra Kent, Carolyn Brown and Vassili Panov). In this haunting volume, Acosta remembers not only his rise from bad boy to legendary dancer whom many called the new Nureyev or the new Baryshnikov, but also his travels and his deep feeling of home-sickness away from Cuba. He expresses the distress of being an alien, of missing one's family, in a way that you can't forget. Even if you're not interested in dance (tsssskk), this book is worth reading.
It's worth buying just for the cover of the book, if you ask me!

13 comments:

marie said...

ill have to look both those up!

mansuetude said...

he looks like he can fly--beautiful.

Mary-Laure said...

MANSUETUDE - oh yes, he can fly! There are many other amazing pictures in the book - that's just the cover.

yasu said...

sounds like a really good book!

A World in a PAN said...

I love the shadow of the dancer, so far from him, as to show that he flies!

Jennifer Elaine said...

That is such an inspiring picture.

littlebird said...

sounds like an interesting read, and there has to be some kind of pun in there about books and their covers : )

Raiment Urbane said...

Awesome. Going to get this.

mansuetude said...

One of my favorite things is to see a bird fling his breast into the air, trusting the gift of flight; perhaps dancers own this. :)

Finished Mulisch's book The Assault last night. Thanks for it. He opens such moral and ethical questions; all our reasoning and justifications; perspectives on leaders and war. I love it. He speaks of violence by really standing far away from it too. I'm still thinking about it.

by the way, love that little "tsssskk" of yours.

tangobaby said...

It does sound like a great read. I will look for it.

I remember reading Suzanne Farrell's memoirs years ago and wondering how dancers can do such extreme things to their bodies. But it was fascinating, even the sad and scary parts.

Have you ever seen the documentary Etoiles? I've seen it 2 or 3 times and it's just such a great look behind the scenes of the Paris Opera.

Mary-Laure said...

RAIMENT URBANE - I hope you do get the book and will let me know how you liked it!

MANSUETUDE - I am really SO happy you liked 'The Assault'. It's a masterpiece, if you ask me. The writing is so haunting, and the story asks such relevant ethical questions!

TANGO BABY - yes, Suzanne Farrell's memoirs are quite extraordinary and a very engaging read.
As for the documentary Etoiles, I own it on DVD so I've seen it many many MANY times... Love it!

pierre said...

Dance ...our shared passion

Hila said...

oh thanks for this review - I've been meaning to buy it.