I finished the tome that’s been my reading at home for a while – Jennifer Homans’ magisterial history of ballet, Apollo’s Angels. The economics angle is that although I know Keynes set up what became the Arts Council, and that he married a Russian ballet dancer, I hadn’t realised how influential he was in shaping ballet into a popular creative art in Britain. What’s more, so refreshing to be reminded that a fine economist (whether you agree with ‘Keynesianism’ or not) understood both the economic and the human importance of cultural life.
For anyone interested in ballet, the book is great, although I think her ultimately gloomy view about the future is a function of being US-based and thinking Balanchine was the pinnacle of the art. Me, I’m not so keen on Balanchine and far more of a Kenneth Macmillan fan than is Homans.