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With Ballet in My Soul: Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario by Eva Maze

5redstars

balletA fascinating life story about a remarkable woman named Eva Maze who had a thriving career as an impresario that lasted for more than forty years, With Ballet in My Soul is an excellent memoir about one woman’s world travels, and how the places we travel to can shape our lives. Growing up in Bucharest, Romania, the narrative told in Maze’s own words spans the course of her life, following her leaving Romania in 1939 and immigrating to the United States, with dreams of becoming a ballet dancer often on her mind. After getting married in Brooklyn, New York, Maze eventually returns to Europe, and then travels to Asia, finding her calling not as a dancer, but as an impresario, who put together many successful theatrical performances. With intriguing images following along the rich text, the life of Maze comes alive on the page, as real world events such as the building of the Berlin Wall, the Munich massacre, and the rise and fall of Pan Am airlines are discussed through Maze’s viewpoint. The story is told in a variety of styles, including straight-forward commentary and entertaining anecdotes detailing the business side of theater and dance, revelations about personalities who were part of those worlds across the decades, and Maze’s own motivation for being an impresario, with details of her personal life sprinkled throughout the text, allowing the reader to get to know the author in an intimate fashion.

This is a well-constructed autobiography about a woman who has accomplished much in her years. With beautiful photographs throughout the book, accompanying a pleasing design that makes the memoir feel as if it is almost a scrapbook, the story is engaging, well-written, and constantly surprising. Separated into chapters based on where Eva was living at the time, this book is a study not only about one woman’s career and life, but in the places we go, and how where we are in the world affects our viewpoint, ideology, and desires. What this memoir succeeds at that so many others fail to accomplish, is revealing a story that is not only a joy to read for those who know Eva, but for those who don’t. Many will be interested in reading about her exploits, and with a vibrant life such as this, it is clear why Eva Maze’s story is one that deserves to be told.