I had the pleasure of receiving a pre-publication copy of Eva Maze’s memoir, With Ballet in My Soul: Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario to review. The book itself is lovely—a large, square paperback with glossy pages, filled with pictures from the author’s long and illustrious career spanning forty years.
Never having heard of her before, Eva Maze’s life story is one I read about in wonder. She’s the sort of quiet hero whose work was appreciated by millions who probably never saw her or heard her name. Eva didn’t get to pursue a career in ballet as she’d dreamed due to a childhood illness, but her love for ballet propelled her into an association with world-class artists as a booking agent. Her book is fascinating, taking the reader from places like Romania to India, Germany, China, Japan, Italy, France, and the United States.
It was personally exciting for me to see pictures of a young Marina Svetlova, who was one of my ballet teachers at Indiana University in the late 1980’s. We called her Madame. She was a tough teacher and I always got the impression that she wanted us to know what it was like to work hard in ballet class, as she had. In this book I learned that she had danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and she, along with Anton Dolin and John Gilpin were the first dancers Eva Maze ever booked—in 1953 and in India, no less!
I truly adore this book and am inspired by her love of life and the arts, and her ability to swim 20 laps every day well into her nineties! This book is sitting on my coffee table now—it’s too beautiful to put on a shelf just yet. It will be available for purchase April 1, 2017.