When We Danced on Water

( 3 )

Overview

At eighty-five, Teo is ready to retire from the bombast and romance of life as one of the world’s most influential choreographers. But when he meets Vivi, a fortyish waitress at a Tel Aviv café, the fires of his youth flare back to life—his passion for a woman’s touch, his long-buried anguish at his wartime experiences, and his complex engagement with dance. Vivi’s life will change, too, as the warmth of Teo’s affection counterbalances her harrowing time as an Israeli soldier in an illicit relationship. For both,...

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When We Danced on Water: A Novel

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Overview

At eighty-five, Teo is ready to retire from the bombast and romance of life as one of the world’s most influential choreographers. But when he meets Vivi, a fortyish waitress at a Tel Aviv café, the fires of his youth flare back to life—his passion for a woman’s touch, his long-buried anguish at his wartime experiences, and his complex engagement with dance. Vivi’s life will change, too, as the warmth of Teo’s affection counterbalances her harrowing time as an Israeli soldier in an illicit relationship. For both, their investment in art, and indeed in life itself, will reawaken as the ghosts of their suppressed pasts—from Warsaw to Copenhagen, Berlin to Tel Aviv—cry out for forgiveness and healing.

With lustrous prose capturing the grit and fury of history and the breathtaking power of passion, When We Danced on Water is a compelling novel of intimacy and identity, art and ambition, and how love can truly transcend tragedy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fallenberg's (Light Fell) precise prose moves fluidly between the delicate and the bold, much like the aging dancer whose story he tells with such elegance. At 84, Teo Levin commands the dancers performing his choreography in the Tel Aviv Ballet with an authority and vigor that belies his age. He looks forward to his daily arguments about devotion and passion with 42-year-old artist Vivi, the waitress at a cafe he frequents. Vivi, aimless in the years since she fled preunified Berlin, finds her focus with Teo, at last. In turn, she forces him to share the secrets he's locked away about a shocking six-year period he endured as a young man in Nazi Germany. Fallenberg gives voice to the miasma of grief that overwhelms Teo and Vivi and achieves resonance in his exploration of music as a visual and physical experience. The author also manages to spin mundane discussions of passion and obsession into a rich narrative, skirting sentimentality. His spare style sneaks up on the reader, enhancing the emotionality inherent in his subject. (May)
Edge
“When We Danced on Water is a haunting, beautifully written story about the unlikely friendship between two artists...Fallenberg’s novel is exquisite.”
Jerusalem Post
“Lyrical...an enjoyable read...[Fallenberg is] sensitively attuned to the power of individual words. His fluid prose is carefully composed.”
Miami Herald
“Quietly spectacular and emotionally satisfying...Fallenberg achieves the near-impossible, superbly crafting an altogether unique Holocaust story made plausible through utterly gripping realism.”
Shelf Awareness
“The sensitivity that Fallenberg brings to the writing devoted to Teo’s life as a dancer in the Danish Royal Ballet, in the wings and on stage, is passionately evocative.”
Brooklyn Rail
“Fallenberg’s paradoxical propositions of passion as suffering, and that a life without passion is devoid of meaning, leaves us with an insolvable quandary and a Buddhist diagnosis: life is suffering, one way or another.”
Washington Jewish Week
“Highly recommended.”
Booklist
“As their pasts are revealed, an unexpected blessing bears testament to the beauty and the sustainability of their unconventional relationship.”
Forward
“When We Danced on Water is literary fiction that reads like a long short story. Packed with intensity in both plot and psychology, its effect is disproportionate to its brevity. Reading about Teo and Vivi is like experiencing a lifelong relationship with each protagonist.”
Edge
“When We Danced on Water is a haunting, beautifully written story about the unlikely friendship between two artists...Fallenberg’s novel is exquisite.”
New York Jewish Week
“The poetic [When We Danced on Water] is read easily in a few sittings, and the light of Tel Aviv, the pure beauty and sensuality of dance and the powerful affirmation of life, are deeply felt.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062033321
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/17/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 802,043
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    Nightfall

    A handsome black tom walks in. "May i join?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    &starf<_>&star S<_>&upsilon<_>nCl<_>&alpha<_>n &star<_>&starf

    W<_>&epsilon<_>lcom<_>&epsilon to S<_>&upsilon<_>nCl<_>&alpha<_>n! <p> I am Mistystar, the leader of SunClan. <br>First of all, I would like to say that we are a pact clan. We can not fight the Ethereal, and they can not attack us. We are very realistic.<p>&star R<_>&upsilon<_>l<_>&epsilon<_>s &star <br>To join, ask me. Elders, queens with kits, pregnant queens, warriors, and apprentices will be accepted, but none of the "parent leaving kit" business. Kits must have at least one parent with them to join.<br>Ceremonies will be held when a kit has reached his/her sixth moon or when an apprentice is twelve moons and has passed his assessment. The leader will hold the ceremonies. The deputy can suggest mentors for apprentices, but can not hold ceremonies.<br>Do not mate in camp. Younger children rp, and we do not want to give them a bad example. Pick a private result.<br>"An active clan is a strong clan." Be active! So many cats become inactive.<p>&star M<_>&alpha<_>p &star <br>Result one is the introduction, map, and rules.<br>Result two is the main camp.<br>Result three is the medicine cat den.<br>Result four is Bigrock, the ceremony place.<br>The nursery is at result five.<br>The warriors den is result six.<br>Result seven is the apprentices den.<br>Result eight is the leader's den.<br>Private results are from result nine onward.<p>~M<_>&iota<_>styst<_>&alpha<_>r

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2012

    great

    This book was wonderful, I did not want it to end. I loved the characters

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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