Built For Ballet
Leanne Benjamin with Sarah Crompton reveals her extraordinary life and career as one of the world’s most important ballet dancers in the past 50 years. Born and raised in the central Queensland town of Rockhampton, Benjamin attended her first ballet class at the age of three and at 16 she was accepted into the Royal Ballet School in London. At 18 Benjamin danced her first leading role on the Royal Opera House stage in the school’s performance of Giselle that catapulted her to a stellar career.
Her story is full of big names and personalities – Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Kenneth MacMillan, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Darcey Bussell, Carlos Acosta to name a few. President Clinton, Michelle Obama, Diana Princess of Wales and David Beckham also make an appearance.
Benjamin takes you behind the scenes to find a real understanding of the pleasure and the pain, the demands and the intense commitment it requires to become a ballet dancer. She shares small moments of insight: what make a performance special, how you recover from injury, illness and child birth, how a different partner can alter everything, what it’s like to fall over in front of thousands of people and what it’s like to triumph. Above all it seeks to explain, in warm and human terms, why women get the reputation for being difficult in a world where being a good girl is too much prized. And what they can do about it.