"There can't be a professional ballet school in the west that hasn't heard of, toyed with, admired or tried to copy at least some aspects of Agrippina Vaganova's method of teaching. One only has to look and remember the constant stream of truly great dancers that have emerged from her system over the last 70 or so years, to want to know how these wonderful beings were trained. Pawlick's book leaves us wondering if there could ever again be a figure like Vaganova, so centered on a particular style, and so instrumental in its codification and development. And that might be very much to ballet's loss."
"A riveting read, which attempts to reveal the secrets of the Vaganova system. Anyone intrigued by the greatness of Russian ballet, and the Maryinsky in particular, will absorb this book from a behind-the-curtain view. It's a tribute to the revered legend of Agrippina Vaganova, a visionary who redefined dance, both in Russia and the world."
"Shows the Academy from the other end of the barre for the first time." ... "No other book gives a reader the opportunity to see the world of Russian ballet from the perspective of those who create it each day through teaching and coaching dancers for the stage."
--The Russian Review
"Pawlick introdduces us to the woman whose teaching methods and influences have held Biblical importance in the ballet world for many decades"
--Haglund's Heel (Blog)
"… offers readers a rare opportunity to hear the voices of experienced teachers and coaches speaking honestly about the teaching methods and artistic philosophies behind the superb dancers emerging from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St Petersburg."
"It also provides readers with new insights into standards and best practices in ballet training, as well as important philosophical and aesthetic issues besetting the world of professional ballet in the twenty-first century"
"At the heart of the book is a timely philosophical question about the nature of ballet and its popularity: What is the relation between technique and artistry in the genre of classical ballet, and how can one foster the other?"
"Traces Agrippina Vaganova’s story from her student years in tsarit Russia to her career with the Mariinsky to her work as a teacher and choreographer."
--Dance Studio Life