Ballet-world clichés abound in Roy Round’s pretty pictures of dancers. An Englishman who’s been photographing the dance world for decades, Round frames 15 stars, eight men and seven women from American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet, who are now at the top of their game. Émigrés from Russia, Brazil, Cuba, France, Denmark, and towns across America are displayed in full regalia, often leaping, sometimes in pensive portraits. My favorite shots are the few black-and-white ones; the rest exude a chilling stillness. Included are curious billboard-like collages, splaying Angel Corella, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Gillian Murphy, and Jenifer Ringer against Manhattan buildings.
What saves the volume and gives it legs are the interviews Joseph Carman, himself a former dancer, and William Cubberly have wrested from artists not known for verbal fluency. Their questions let the subjects open up, share their doubts and inspirations and tricks for surviving. They come to life in the prose, if not in the pictures.
Round About could be a Valentine present for your balletomane mom or lover, or for a 10-year-old aspirant besotted with visions of sugarplum fairies and swans.
A book-signing event will be held January 27 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, Broadway and 66th Street. The authors will be joined by Beloserkovsky, Irina Dvorovenko, and Marcelo Gomes.