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Pursuit of Perfection
A Life of Celia Franca
By (author): Carol Bishop-Gwyn
9781770862258 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts Ontario Oct 01, 2011
$22.95 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 1 in | 636 gr 384 pages Cormorant Books
 
Governor General's Literary Award (Non-fiction) 2012, Short-listed Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non Fiction 2013, Short-listed <i>Globe and Mail</i> Top 100 2012, Commended

Born into a working-class family in 1921, Celia Franca, though a capable dancer, was an unlikely candidate for ballet greatness. But Celia possessed a drive that was almost unrivalled, and went on to become one of the most important figures inCanadian ballet in the twentieth century.

Franca grew up in London, England, and started dancing when she was four, ultimately becoming a star performer with the Sadler’s Wells Ballet.

When a group from Toronto was hopeful of establishing a major ballet, they brought Celia across the Atlantic to be the founder. Celia went on to build the company, the National Ballet of Canada, into a major cultural force in Canada.

Commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the National Ballet of Canada, The Pursuit of Perfection tells of the battles, the heartbreaks, the successes, and the accolades Celia and the Ballet shared.

Carol Bishop-Gwyn is a writer and dance historian. She holds two post-graduate degrees in dance history and has taught courses at York University, Ryerson University, and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Bishop-Gwyn has worked as a broadcaster and producer for CBC National Radio and as a freelance magazine writer.

“Bishop-Gwyn’s book goes a long way to give us a much fuller and more sympathetic picture of Celia Franca than we have ever had before, without minimizing the character flaws … She has been lucky to have a biographer who does her justice and reminds those of us who needed reminding how great was the debt owed to her.” - Macleans

“This nuanced portrait … makes this ballet biography a must-read … both superbly insightful and judiciously written.” - The Globe and Mail

“You do not have to be a ballet fan to enjoy The Pursuit of Perfection, which overflows with triumphs and tragedies both onstage and off. Franca is such a unique and fascinating character it is difficult at times to remember the book is a thoroughly researched biography and not a work of fiction.” - Quill and Quire

“Wonderful … Carol Bishop-Gwyn brings the life of Celia Franca with both the positive and negative that breeds true passion. In the end her book gives readers the truth of what it took to make an inspirational woman become a true Canadian icon.” - News4U

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