Thursday, August 11, 2005

By three o'clock, the heat and humidity are more than I can bear. My brain refuses to think clear thoughts and all I want to do is find a comfy locale and put my feet up. Now that I have a laptop, I can find these things easily, but I also suffer from a late afternoon desire to be lazy. Take today, for example. I've had a strong cup of tea, but all I want to do is nod off.

So, I have a book in hand. When I read a review of First Love by Adrienne Sharp a few months ago, I immediately put it on my list of books to read. Sharp spent her teen years in the corps of the New York City Ballet, and, although she did not continue as an adult, she has written a novel about two young ballet artists, incorporating her intimate knowledge of the ballet world. As she explained in a Publisher's Weekly interview, she discovered before sitting down to write the book that there have been no recent novels that have tackled the competitive, insular culture of American ballet.

Sharp uses an omniscient viewpoint that objectifies Adam and Sandra, the two focus characters, a treatment that comes off as if she is studying them with twelve-foot long tweezers. Her prose is fluid, but her characters don't seem alive. Still, her observations about Balanchine, though the qualities she chooses have been written about so much that they're almost cliche, are interesting, especially when seen through the eyes of a very young ballerina.

But with that said, I am enjoying it, especially all the New York descriptions and ballet talk. A voyeur's view...