Throwing open the doors of the closed world of ballet, Swan Dive does for dancers what Kitchen Confidential did for professional chefs.
'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. -- Bidisha * Observer *
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 *
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 *
Explosive . . . This is far from misery memoir. There’s a passionate joy in the dancing itself, and the lively pages are filled with colloquialisms -- Marianka Swain * Daily Telegraph *
A blisteringly honest tale of overcoming hurdles — racism, misogyny, sexual harassment and psychological abuse — to reach the top of a fiendishly cut-throat industry. -- Laura Pullman * Sunday Times *
A gritty, shocking yet also humorous account of the demands of life as an elite dancer from the first Asian American female soloist at the New York City Ballet.* i News *
Ballet fans should definitely get their hands on Swan Dive by Georgina Pazcoguin which is a truthful, funny, shocking and scandalous exploration of elite ballet. * Stylist *
Pazcoguin's highly readable account of a life in the most painful profession . . . a power pack of inspiration. * Strong Words *
A page-turner * New York Times *
Witty, sobering, hell-raising . . . Pazcoguin exposes more turmoil at New York City Ballet than any fictional melodrama could hope to match. * Washington Post *
While the juicy details of beautiful people behaving badly are beguiling, it’s Pazcoguin’s unsparing criticism of the industry that begs an encore. This is potent stuff * Publishers Weekly *
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
Revelatory . . . Sure to ruffle some tutus * New York Post *
Come for the unfiltered peek behind the curtain, stay for the accessible, often hilarious writing * Dance Magazine *
Pazcoguin writes with astounding passion about her achievements, and her prose is enchanting as she describes finally being comfortable in her own skin. Vulnerable, raw, and full of grit, this is the story of a woman who has been broken yet clawed her way to victory . . . A personal tale of darkness, passion, and euphoric triumph * Library Journal *
In her brisk, spirited debut memoir, [Pazcoguin] recounts her experiences in the competitive, hierarchal ballet world . . . A lively chronicle of dedication and joy. * Kirkus Reviews *
Aggressively entertaining. . . [Swan Dive] is equal parts autobiography, insider intel, and righteous indignation * Shelf Awareness *
A thoroughly captivating read. Determination and passion are the cornerstones of Georgina’s magic onstage and off, and her humor and wit make this peek behind the curtain like no other dance memoir. Her courage in the face of adversity is to be admired -- Chita Rivera
Georgina has led quite the journey to become the woman she is today. She exemplifies a natural, nostalgic showgirl attitude combined with the sensitivity and precision of a life in ballet. -- Zac Posen
This is a fearless book written with a courageous, blazing spirit. Georgina’s story compels you to look at yours as fiercely as she examines hers. -- Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
You will find Swan Dive to be a wild ride dancing between risk and balance, legacy and possibility. -- Andy Blankenbuehler, award-winning choreographer of In the Heights and Hamilton
Dimensions: 197mm x 130mm x 17mm