An arts interlude

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.

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2 thoughts on “An arts interlude

  1. We have had the book a little time now, it is a fine read. Sadly, we think the future is gloomy in that the cost of productions other than basic sets and costumes, video and the need for sex and violence mean that dance is merging into the general media presentations of our time and its obsessions. There ain’t no style or colour or technique etc.

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