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Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker

Lauren Kessler

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Da Capo Press Inc
11 January 2018
Ballet; Memoirs
An award-winning author's journey to break out of the expectations of midlife and reclaim the daring of her girlhood by dancing in the world's most popular ballet, The Nutcracker, with a professional company.

Like generations of little girls, Lauren Kessler fell in love with ballet the first time she saw The Nutcracker, and from that day, at age five, she dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But when she was twelve, her very famous ballet instructor crushed those dreams-along with her youthful self-assurance-and she stepped away from the barre.

Fast forward four decades. Lauren-suddenly, powerfully, itchingly restless at midlife-embarks on a Transcontinental Nutcracker Binge Tour, where attending a string of performances in Chicago, New York, Boston, and San Francisco reignites her love affair with the ballet-and fuels her girlhood dream.

What ensues is not only a story about The Nutcracker itself, but also an inside look at the seemingly romantic-but oh-so-gritty-world of ballet, about all that happens away from the audience's eye that precedes the magic on stage. It is a tale told from the perspective of someone who not only loves it, but is also seeking to live it. Lauren's quest to dance The Nutcracker with the Eugene Ballet Company tackles the big issues: fear, angst, risk, resilience, the refusal to settle in to midlife, the refusal to become yet another Invisible Woman. It is also a very funny, very real look at what it's like to push yourself further than you ever thought you could go-and what happens when you get there.
By:   Lauren Kessler
Imprint:   Da Capo Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 211mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   242g
ISBN:   9780306903274
ISBN 10:   030690327X
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   11 January 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Lauren Kessler is the author of nine nonfiction books, including Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-aging, as well as My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence. Her journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O, the Oprah Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, Prevention, and Salon. An international speaker and workshop leader, she is the creator of two graduate programs in narrative journalism.

Reviews for Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker

This delightful story of one woman's personal quest will be enjoyed by anyone who thinks age is just a number, but Nutcracker fans will find it especially appealing. * Library Journal * [Kessler's] book is eloquent, funny and so inspiring that readers might want to 'attempt the impossible' too. * People * [Kessler] inspires readers as she realizes that 'you can't feel the thrill unless you take the risk. * Publishers Weekly *


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