Monday, April 15, 2013

Dancing in the Dark by Robyn Bavati

North American debut of the Australian award-winning drama. Ditty Cohen is passionate about ballet--she loves how it feels to stand
en-pointe, to rise and spin across the room. But her Orthodox Jewish parents want Ditty to focus on the teachings of the Torah and to marry at a young age according to their religious tradition. Although her parents forbid her to take dance lessons, Ditty secretly signs up for ballet and becomes entangled in a web of deceit. As one lie leads to another and another, Ditty knows she must stop dancing, but she can't abandon the one thing that gives her freedom. She begins to question her faith and everything her parents have taught her, realizing just how much is at stake as her two worlds collide.


First I have to say that I absolutely love the cover of this book. That and the title was enough to pique my interest about it.

Ditty first falls in love with ballet, when she and her friend Sara watch it on television in secret (watching TV isn‘t allowed for them). From that very first moment she becomes mesmerized by ballet. Because of this she decides to ask her parents if she can take ballet classes a couple of times during the week and also on Saturdays. They say no due to the fact that they are Orthodox Jewish and are against dancing and Saturdays are considered the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbos).  Ditty is disappointed, but she does not let that stop her. She practices in secret and she begins to take classes without her parents knowledge.

Ditty has real promise when it comes to ballet. She shows true talent, and the classes help her to grow and improve as a dancer. She falls in love with ballet even more.  The big downside is that she is lying to her parents about what she is doing. Then before she knows it, one lie turns into another and another, until things start to spiral out of control and her lies catch up with her.

This is not the same run of the mill story about a girl who loves dancing and has to choose between a hot guy and her passion for ballet.  Dancing in the Dark is about a girl who loves her family and embraces her religious upbringing, but one day discovers something that she not only has a passion for, but is good at. And that makes her question everything, even her faith. She realizes that her dancing comes at a price. The close relationship she used to share with her family becomes strained and she has to decide if she has made the right choice. Her struggle with doing what she feels is right and living out her dream versus what her family expects her to do felt realistic and well done. The Prologue pulled me in, but the author’s fluid writing and real characters kept me reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5.  


  1. Sounds like a really interesting read. I like the fact that you highlighted the way this book turns from the cliche market of girl choosing between guys and dance.

    May give it a try, thanks!

  2. Thanks RJ! If you read it, I hope you like it. :)