Polina by Bastien Vivès (Translated by Polly McLean) - review by Nick Hayes

Nick Hayes

Lady of the Dance



Jonathan Cape 209pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Bastien Vivès’s new graphic novel, Polina, is the next step in his ongoing fascination with the body and the way it moves in space. Charting the education of a young Russian ballet dancer, from her enrolment at ballet school as a young child to her return to the school as an accomplished, professional dancer, the book springs with the graceful motion of its characters.

It begins with Polina strapped into the back seat of a car, being driven by her mother to the Bojinsky Academy for auditions. Her mother’s words emanate from the front seat, telling her to remain quiet and to hide any pain she might feel while the dance teacher manipulates her

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