Book cover for Swan Dive

Swan Dive



14 October 2021
551 minutes
Imprint: Picador


Swan Dive is to ballet what Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential was to restaurants, a chance to go behind the serene front of house to the sweaty, foul-mouthed, psychofrenzy backstage.
Swan Dive is a sharp plunge into the reality of ballet in all its perfectionist genius and rigour, and all its abuses and sadism. What makes Pazcoguin’s message so haunting is that exploitation and violation are seen as the price that female dancers have to pay to perform some of the greatest dances known to humanity.

Her resilience is written on every page, often in capitals, with wit and rage displayed in equal measure.

A funny, poignant and shocking read . . . [Pazcoguin] punctures, with enormous glee, the stereotype of the ballet dancer as an elegant, ethereal being.