From Ballet to Journalism

From Ballet to Journalism

What does a young girl growing up in Kentucky, dreaming of becoming a Russian ballerina, do when the Cold War stood in her way – not to mention, she’s not Russian? When she’s teenage Jennifer Fisher, she dances her way into the Louisville Ballet before moving onto a musical theatre career, then journalism and finally a career as an author. Speaking on her journey from ballet to journalism to academia and back to ballet, Ms. Fisher will discuss this adventure that led to her upcoming 2019 book “An Autobiography of Ballet”(McFarland) that combines storytelling, memoir and dance analysis. She is the June guest speaker for the Ojai Art Center Literary Branch Salon, June 11 at 7 pm.

Writing news, travel, humor, and home décor at first, Jennifer ended up in Canada, becoming a television specialist, serving as a senior editor and writer at TV Guide in Toronto, while providing commentary on CBC radio (national public radio in Canada) interviewing such stars as Sandra Bullock, Michael J. Fox and Tom Selleck. She later moved to California to complete a Ph.D in Dance History and Theory and became a contributing dance critic at the LA Times.

Ms. Fisher turned to academia where she has taught history, writing and theory in the dance department at UC Irvine for the past 15 years.  Her first book, “Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became A Christmas Tradition in the New World,” won the 2003 de la Torre Bueno special citation for best dance publication in 2003.  She co-edited “When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders” and, in an unlikely return to the stage several years ago, danced with her target company, the Kirov (in the background, but still…) and Mikhail Baryshnikov in his postmodern dance revival, “PastForward.”

Please join us on June 11th, 7:00 p.m. in the Ojai Art Center gallery for her talk: From ballet to journalism to academia and back to ballet, followed by a reception and book signing.  $5 donation at the door.

For additional information, please contact: Ilona Saari,


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