The following letters express a growing discontent within the field of classical ballet during the 1800s. Written by renowned dancer and choreographer August Bournonville, the letters discuss and evaluate the state of ballet in Paris and abroad so as to express a sense of frustration with much of the clout and imperialism of the ballet establishment.
In one way, Bournonville represents the very foundation and original virtues of classical dance; on the other hand, he represents a budding rebellion within not only dance but the entirety of the arts. His call for a return to the very essential elements of dance represent what could only be called the infancy of modernism.
This book brings these letters to the surface, such that they might bring about a reflection upon the state of art and design today, asking what is required to achieve true progress. It is not simply the euphoria of the new or the nostalgia of tradition but the synthesis of both modest grace and established virtue that leads to forward motion in any of the arts.
Design and Art Direction by Cameron Searcy
Photography by Caroline Petters