Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Friday, December 19, 2008

Surrendering to 'Winter Season'

Winter Season is one of my all-time favorite books.

The book tells the first-hand story of an NYCB corps dancer during the 1980 season, yet the tale is universal: any dancer (anywhere, in any genre) can find at least one aspect of Bentley's tale that they absolutely relate to, to such an extent that it feels like Bentley (28 years and however-many miles ago) is reading their mind. I first read Winter Season in Boston in 2003, and five years later I'm still quoting it/dog-earing certain pages/highlighting passages that I find to be particularly profound or truthful.

And that, my dear readers, is why I totally forgive Toni Bentley for The Surrender. Yes, she had some sick sexual festishes. Yes, it caused many people to give her the same Sicko Status as Andy Dick, or worse...well, I'm not sure if there's anyone worse than Andy Dick in that regard, but you know what I mean. Winter Season, however, is so beautiful and spot-on that I'm willing to forget about Surrender (which, don't get me wrong, is a well written book; just....not my cup of java).

On that note, allow me to share with you some of my favorite passages from Winter Season, since I'm presently reading it for the umpteenth time:

"A Dancer is like any artist- his art is his communication."

"I think too much-- far too much-- to dance."

"We are not trained to think financially. Money is only to pay for the apartment, to buy a fur coat and ballet clothes."

"They learn early, these little dancers. They grow up fast; they have to, for their careers begin in the center of their youth when the rest of the world is playing games and learning to live."


There's so much beauty to be found in this little book that we'll be here until lunchtime if I go on with this list. So, to quote Reading Rainbow (remember that?): "You're gonna have to read the book!"

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