Darcey Bussell’s Gorgeous, Extravagant, New Photo-Biography

 Darcey Bussell | Photo-Biography | First look at the photos

Darcey Bussell in her dressing room

Apollo, April 2003, The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London. Darcey says, “After about 10 years I was able to apply my stage make-up in 30 minutes. It was all about accentuating the eyes and the lips for the audience to see our expressions more clearly. False eyelashes were a must.” Photograph : Bryan Adams

I’m not (yet) allowed to tell you all about Darcey Bussell’s new photo-biography, but I can say that this covetable book is in a league of it’s own and for that reason alone I encourage you to pre-order, especially the Limited Edition boxed and signed version – the details are at the bottom of this page.

Today, the publisher of Darcey Bussell’s upcoming photo-biography, entitled simply Darcey Bussell, released a selection of images ahead of publication in early September.

What makes this book unique are the captions which Darcey has penned herself, and they are included here with the photographs I have chosen.

Darcey Bussell putting on her pointe shoes

Apollo, April 2003, The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London. Darcey says, “Protecting my feet for the performance ahead. I individually bandaged each toe so that I didn’t get too many blisters. I have always felt this must be similar to strapping a boxer’s hands.” Photograph : Bryan Adams

Darcey Bussell is a glorious photographic celebration of the spectacular career of the world-famous ballerina. Showcasing Darcey’s incredible talent as well as featuring revealing personal photographs from backstage and the studio, this pictorial memoir is lavishly illustrated with the work of world-class photographers from Mario Testino and Annie Liebovitz to Bryan Adams, Mary McCartney, Bill Cooper and Johan Persson. 

Darcey Bussell dancing in the school studio

Autumn Leaves, 1984, The Royal Ballet Upper School, London. Darcey says, “I remember this as being the first time I was really noticed whilst in my last year at White Lodge, aged 15. A fellow pupil, Michael Rolnick, created a lovely, slow and lyrical piece that belied his age, for the school’s choreographic evening. Despite being White Lodgers, we were asked to perform it at The Royal Ballet Upper School, which is unheard of. I was amazed that some of the eighteen year old students complimented me on the quality of my dancing.”

Darcey Bussell commented on the upcoming publication : “I am so excited to be able to put this compilation of photos together, I have wanted to make this book for a long time and now it has come to fruition. Throughout my career I was very fortunate to work with many incredibly talented photographers. They not only captured the essence of my work, but provided me with so many wonderful memories, which I have also included in this book. I hope you really enjoy it.”

The images create a stunning visual backdrop to Darcey’s ballet story which is woven through the book in extended captions. Darcey reveals the personal story behind each photograph.

Darcey Bussell’s personal appearances

Bussell will be at the V&A on Friday 21 September, Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday 14 October, an event in Birmingham with Waterstones on Thursday 22 November and a signing at Waterstones Windsor on Thursday 29 November.


You can read my complete review of Darcey Bussell’s photo-biography on September 3rd and you can, of course, pre order your copy here, saving you some money too :

There are two versions, and as it’s such an iconic piece of history I recommend that you waste no time and pre-order the Limited Edition, which is signed by Darcey Bussell and boxed.


This is the un-signed version of the book :

Darcey Bussell: A Life in Pictures (Hardcover)

List Price: £30.00
New From: £920.67 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.98 GBP In Stock

This is the Limited Edition version, boxed, signed by Darcey Bussell, and my recommendation :

Darcey Bussell (Hardcover)

List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: 0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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9 Responses to Darcey Bussell’s Gorgeous, Extravagant, New Photo-Biography

  1. Dancing Branflake August 29, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    No way! I am beyond thrilled about this!

  2. Ballet News August 29, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Dancing Branflake yes Way!

  3. Simone Simone August 29, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    HOw wonderful! I must have this! Do you know if there’s a signing going on?would be even more special to have it signed in person.

  4. Ballet News August 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Simone Simone : I will ask the question. I think that the nature of a Limited Edition run means that each book is numbered as well as signed, and that of course, not that many are available.

    I’m not sure that Darcey would have spare time in her schedule with Strictly starting in a couple of weeks to do personal appearances, and I think it would also de-value slightly those Limited Editions, though I do see where you’re coming from.

    I will respond again as soon as I have an answer to my question.

  5. Ballet News August 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Simone Simone : the answer is YES. Please check my feature for the full listings.

  6. Ballet News August 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Jane Williams Limited edition already on order! Can’t wait! :0)

  7. Ballet News August 31, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Julia Nicholson said : wonder what her feet look like now!

  8. Ballet News August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Monica Camacho Canedo said : love this ballerina…

  9. Ballet News September 1, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    A reader asked me what the difference was between the Limited Edition and the other version, besides the signature.

    In reply, the Limited Edition is numbered and boxed in addition to Darcey’s signature.

    There is no difference in the content of the actual book itself, but this is an iconic book and my recommendation remains to buy the Limited Edition, which most of you seem to be doing.