Siegel, Siena Cherson 1967(?)–

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Siegel, Siena Cherson 1967(?)–

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1967, in Puerto Rico; daughter of Samuel B. and Rosana Cherson; married Mark Siegel (a graphic designer, illustrator, and publisher), June 5, 1999. Education: Attended American School of Ballet (New York, NY); Brown University, graduate, 1990.

ADDRESSES:

Home— MA.

CAREER:

Dancer and author. Agnes B. (clothing store), Boston, MA, former manager; American Ballet Theatre, New York, NY, currently manager of training program for teens.

WRITINGS:

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel(memoir), illustrated by husband, Mark Siegel, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Siena Cherson Siegel joins her husband, graphic artist and illustrator Mark Siegel, to create the memoir To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel. Beginning with Siena's childhood dreams of becoming a ballerina, the book follows her development as a dancer. Dance lessons at age six in her native Puerto Rico lead to study at New York City's American School of Ballet, where she dances in productions at Lincoln Center under the direction of George Balanchine. Much of Siegel's book is set in the 1970s, a time when ballet took many news headlines due to the rise of stars such as Mikhail Baryshnikov. Siegel's memoir radiates the excitement the young dancer experienced sharing the stage with such talent, and readers share her profound loss when a severe ankle injury ends her dreams of a dancing career at age eighteen. Noting the challenges endured by young dancers, and the fact that their initial love and passion for their art often erodes with each new challenge, Mark Siegel explained to Brown Alumni Magazine online interviewer Lawrence Goodman,To Dance "is about rediscovering that love through all the hardships."

Reviewing To Dance in Publishers Weekly, a contributor praised Siena Siegel's text for its "credible, youthful voice that conveys both confidence and innocence," while Mark Siegel's cartoon art "captur[es] … both the dancers' movements and their passion." In Booklist, Francisca Goldsmith dubbed the work an "insightful, accessible, and aesthetically engaging graphic novel," and in School Library Journal, Carol Schene praised the memoir for providing young dancers with "an inspiring message about the dedication required" to pursue their dream. Calling To Dance "a bravura performance," a Kirkus Reviews writer predicted that the Siegel's book "will be … treasured by ballet lovers of all ages."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2006, Francisca Goldsmith, review of To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, p. 127.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of To Dance, p. 230.

Horn Book, November-December, 2006, Robin Brenner, review of To Dance, p. 737.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of To Dance, p. 912.

Publishers Weekly, October 2, 2006, review of To Dance, p. 64.

School Library Journal, November, 2006, Carol Schene, review of To Dance, p. 168.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Snow Wildsmith, review of To Dance, p. 81.

ONLINE

Blogcritics Web site,http://blogcritics.org/ (April 18, 2007), Gina Ruiz, review of To Dance.

Brown Alumni Magazine Online,http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/ (September 1, 2006), Lawrence Goodman, review of To Dance.

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