World Ballet Day captures our love of dance en pointe each year, and this year amongst the performances, classes, and livestreams was another celebration of dance we’re in love with.
Written by former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Allegra Kent, the new book Grand Jeté and Me tells the story of a girl and her grandmother going to see NYCB’s Nutcracker performance live. We can all probably remember the first time we were captured by toys come to life alongside an army of rats, and Allegra, with the help of illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser, has captured that moment in this ballet-filled picture book.
The grandmother in the book, Grand Jeté, is a former dancer modeled after Allegra herself. As they watch the nutcracker, the young girl is fascinated by the Sugarplum Fairy, the prima ballerina, and is even more excited to find out that her grandmother once danced that same role.
Cue the snowflakes, dance classes, and awe-inspiring leaps! Grand Jeté and Me is a Christmas story, a dance story, a ballet story, and a family story. Full of gorgeous details and even Easter eggs (like books with the names of famous dancers on their spines and detailed drawings of iconic costumes), we imagine Grand Jeté and Me will inspire young dancers with a love of ballet and anyone with dreams of the stage!