'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.' Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times
In this love letter to the art of dance, Georgina Pazcoguin, New York City Ballet’s first Asian American female soloist, lays bare the backstage world of elite ballet.
With an unapologetic sense of humour about the cut-throat mentality required, Pazcoguin takes us from her small home town in Pennsylvania to training for one of the most revered ballet companies in the world – a company that was rocked by scandal in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Pazcoguin continues to be one of the few dancers openly speaking up against harassment, abuse and racism – all of which she has painfully experienced firsthand.
Tying together Pazcoguin’s fight for equality with an infectious passion for her craft, Swan Dive is a page-turning, one-of-a-kind memoir that guarantees you’ll never view a ballerina or a ballet the same way again.
'Always arresting onstage, Georgina Pazcoguin gives us a take on the ballet world that is witty and from the heart. An eye-opening read.' Mikhail Baryshnikov
'A funny, poignant and shocking read . . . [Pazcoguin] punctures, with enormous glee, the stereotype of the ballet dancer as an elegant, ethereal being.' Fiona Sturges, Guardian
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.
Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times
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.
Sarah Crompton, Sunday Times Books of the Year