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Hardcover First Love Book

ISBN: 1573223107

ISBN13: 9781573223102

First Love

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Sandra is a dancer in the corps of the New York City Ballet who has just been chosen for stardom by the great ballet master George Balanchine. Adam is an explosively gifted new star who has defected... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent debut novel !!!

I love this book. It is one of my favorite contemporary novels, and I think it is an excellent debut novel from Adrienne Sharp. Her collection of stories in White Swan, Black Swan have a similar formula to The Sleeping Beauty, but the novel takes a deeper look at trials and tribulations of two budding dancers, and the decisions they face as they must decide between love and a career. The result is a very satisfying read. I'm not going to give away the whole plot, but the two main characters face difficult personal decisions while trying to maintain a career in the seemingly brutalizing world of ballet. Adam engages in several short sexual relationships, while Sandra remains to herself, as if she is waiting for her "first love," Adam. They eventually end up consummating their relationship, but from then on, as their relationship grows, they must decide what their true desires are--specifically Sandra, who Balanchine chooses as his "last muse" for his adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. Eventually, however, all forces collide by the end of the novel. Love, lust, career, aspirations, and heartbreak make up the climax of the novel. Sharp combines the elements of dance with the wrenching emotions of the art, much like what was done in White Swan, Black Swan. The ending makes complete sense--and leads the reader to make their own conclusions about the characters. Despite what other reviews say, I do recommend this novel. It offers an emotional look at the lives of dancers, and the impact the art of ballet can have on their lives. The characters are complex, the plot is well executed, and the book is written in delicate prose--overall, this novel is "compulsively readable" and an achievement for Adrienne Sharp. 5/5

Literary Masterpiece

I have read this author's book of short stories as well as her novel. This book is a most ingenious interpretation of the original Sleeping Beauty. It is the modern day story of the tragic fairy tale. How brilliant is that? Her interweaving of the complex story with the lives of these dancers, Balanchine and the fairy tale are extraordinary. You should buy this book annd her short stories, too, to follow the career of this gifted writer. If you are looking for a True Love romance novel, you will soon realize that you are reading something far far greater and important than any trivial romance book you were going for. This book is for the bright and literary who understand the book's brilliant design.

An Exploration of Passion

Adrienne Sharp's First Love is a luminescent story about the fragile but undeniable links between art and self, love and control. Set in the New York ballet world of the 1980's, the novel is told by three third-person narrators. Sandra is a young and promising ballerina who aches to be recognized by the director of the New York City Ballet - George Balanchine, or Mr. B., as the dancers call him. Adam, her friend and now lover, dances with the other company in town, the American Ballet Theater, under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Finally, Balanchine himself tells a magical segment of the story; although his health is ailing, he wants to direct one more ballet - Sleeping Beauty - and he wants Sandra to be the star and his muse. Sharp addresses with insight and compassion the artist's eternal debate - how to live in the real world with one's dreams and aspirations, and each character embodies this struggle as the story unfolds. Sandra must live with the realities of an ill father, a brilliant historian who has battled with mental illness since before Sandra's mother died when she was a child. Adam must deal with the pressure he receives from his parents, dancers themselves, who provide a stunted kind of support: they love him, but their own dysfunctional relationship and their need to turn away from romantic passion and seek only the passion they can find in art has made them poor role models for their son. He must learn how to negotiate relationships on his own. For solace, Adam has always turned to his godfather, Randall, the only one in the family who sees him as a person more than as a body. Yet Randall is failing, deteriorating from the ravages of Kaposi's sarcoma. This book investigates in unflinching but breathtaking prose the layers of passion to be navigated by dancers. There is the romantic and sexual passion that Adam and Sandra share in their desperate attempts to meld their souls while simultaneously trying to extricate themselves from one another. There is the passion of the dance, the physical passion, in all of its rough and tactile glory. In one powerful dance scene, Adam has the opportunity to dance with his father, Frankie, in a ballet that his grandfather's lover has created for the three of them - Adam, Frankie, and Sandra. The scene details the movement of the men's bodies, the etchings that makeup creates in the lines of their faces, the film of sweat their hands slip over when they grasp one another's limbs for their intricate moves. Adam is at the top of his game, feeling at first intimidated by then energized by his father's presence; he executes his leaps and vaults with passion and precision. And when Sandra comes out of the wings, he uses that energy to create a dynamo on the stage. But the experience, Adam realizes, exhilarating as it is, taps into too much emotion since it involves the people he loves. For the reader, the scene highlights the question of how the artist, in his or her realm, ca

A Ballet Lover's Dream, Balanchine's Dream

Adrienne Sharp follows her collected short stories "White Swan, Black Swan" with her first successful, gorgeously romantic and moving novel about first loves, a passion for the ballet and a dying man's dream come true. Balanchine was the greatest choreographer in the ballet business for many years in the 20th century. Ever since he first danced the small role of a Cupid as a boy in Tchaikovsky's immortal masterpiece Sleeping Beauty he was determined to stage a production of the work of his own design for the New York City Ballet. Sandra Ellis is the right girl but she strugles to get his attention in the faceless corps. She falls passionately in love with star dancer Adam La Salle of the American Ballet Theater. It's the early 1980's. In a beautifully poetic and lyrical book mirroring the structure of the Sleeping Beauty ballet - its a book that all fans of great literature and ballet will enjoy.

"Whatever is lush within me will be yours"

Using the three-act ballet Sleeping Beauty as a framing device, author Adrienne Sharp as written an exquisitely melodramatic tale of love, longing and beauty. Weaving historical fact into a fictitious narrative, Sharp tells the story of Adam La Salle and Sandra Ellis, two ambitious and talented young ballet dancers who danced together as childhood friends, and are now romantically involved with each other. It is 1981 and two major companies, The New York City Ballet and The American Ballet Theatre, are governing the American ballet world. Adam has become one of ABT's greatest dancers, admired by all, and sort after all over the world. The epitome of physical perfection and beauty, Adam has recently left the New York City ballet to come to the ABT "to be a prince, and a star." But lately, Adam has become disillusioned with fame and fortune, realizing that there just aren't quite enough spotlights to go around. Meanwhile, Sandra has been slogging it out, night-after-night treading the boards in the corps de ballet for the New York City Ballet. The Company is run by the dictatorial and officious George Balanchine, who selects the girls like its an accident of god - this one chosen, that one left behind, his decisions autocratic, impossible to challenge, and utterly demoralizing. Sandra is a uniquely gifted dancer and she knows all about waiting, better than Adam, but it just breaks her heart that "Mr. B" doesn't notice her. Sandra watches with a combination of admiration and despair as Balanchine rehearses with the great Suzanne Farrell. She's fraught with longing as she witnesses these poses of supplication, of offering, of benediction, and of consummation. For Sandra, has thrived in this world - on the inexorable journey from one level to the next, from the pink tights and black leotards of the beginners in A division to the graduating D class. She had expected the journey from corps de ballet to ballerina to be just as sure, but lately it has become laden with problems. Her affair with Adam is becoming serious. Adam wants her badly and she wants him, but they're both so young and Sandra doubts whether she can possibly sacrifice her career for marriage and family. Adam, however, has his own demons to contend with: he's become caught up in the transformation of the ordinary self to the exotic; the necessary part of the dancer's art, fueling the vanity that helps to propel them onto the vast intimidating stage. But like the fairy tales Adam dances - " like the wolf swallowing the granny whole" - the theatre seems to be opening opened its jaws and swallowing him. Adam is tired of looking for life's consolation at the barre, tired of turning to dancing to make right what was not right in his life, He wants his life to be right, he wants to love Sandra and to have her love him, to be with him. When Balanchine finally notices Sandra and offers her the role of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, the young dancer is force to make a choice; does she choos
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