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The best dance books cover all kinds of dancing and reveal their origins. We even have books explaining how to dance in different styles - including street dancing and ballet.

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Dance Books

  • The Ballet Book

    Darcey Bussell

    Product Code: ADWYS
    Paperback 6 years +
    Perfect your port de bras, pas de deux and learn how to dance adagio and allegro. Find out the best way to look after your ballet shoes and make sure your make up is just right for your first night on stage. Contains everything you need to know to become a ballet dancer, from the best ballet dancer in the business, Darcey Bussell.
    • £6.79
    • RRP £6.99
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  • The Maddie Diaries

    Maddie Ziegler

    Product Code: BMKNW
    Paperback
    Maddie Ziegler, the breakout star of Dance Moms and a judge on So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation tells her life story in this coming-of-age memoir.

    A teenage dance prodigy, she talks about her casing on the hit reality TV show and how she was picked by Sia to star in the video for her single 'Chandelier'.

    She talks about the hard work she's put in over the years and how she starred in Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow's The Book of Henry with Jacob Tremblay and Naomi Watts. She also answers fans' burning questions with charm and wit.
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
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  • Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak's Designs for Opera and Ballet

    Product Code: BXXPJ
    Hardback
    This book showcases a lesser-known aspect of Maurice Sendak's oeuvre--his set designs for operas and ballets. Maurice Sendak is well-known for his acclaimed children's books, but he was also an avid opera lover and designed a number of sets for opera and ballet productions, among them Mozart's The Magic Flute, Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, and an opera by Oliver Knussen based on Where the Wild Things Are. This book brings together over one hundred and twenty-five pieces from among the more than nine hundred in the Morgan Library & Museum's collection, including preliminary sketches, final watercolors, and cardboard models. Essays in the book discuss the importance of music to Sendak's work, his fascination with comic strips, movies, mechanical toys, and pop-up books, and the artworks that inspired his stage designs. The book reveals the full breadth of Sendak's visual work for opera and ballet and highlights his keen sense of humor, his love of art history, and his ability to tell striking stories through his art.
    • £23.99
    • RRP £29.99
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  • The Essential Guide to Tap Dance

    Derek Hartley

    Product Code: BMLKJ
    Paperback
    From the propulsive rhythm of the African dancer, to the swinging ragtime of the American jazz age, tap dancing has evolved into a unique blend of cultural expression, improvisation and creativity, open to all ages and abilities. With clear step-by-step instructions, The Essential Guide to Tap Dance covers basic steps such as the shuffle, pick up and paddle, before building these into traditional combinations such as the time step and shim sham. Additional material includes the history and development of tap dancing; rhythm and musicality; learning the language of tap dancing; the role of improvisation and choreography and finally, the basic steps to advanced techniques. This is the perfect companion to instruct the beginner tap dancer and expand the more experienced dancer's technique, offering full-colour pictures, helpful instruction and essential notes on this vibrant and accessible dance form.
    • £18.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Ballerina Body

    Misty Copeland

    Product Code: AXKLR
    Paperback
    In her first health and fitness book, celebrated ballerina Misty Copeland shows you how to find the motivation to get healthier and stronger, and how to refine the body you were born with to be lean, strong and flexible, with step-by-step advice, meal plans, workout routines and words of inspiration. Misty offers her own time-tested, ballet-inspired movements that are perfect for women who want to lengthen and strengthen, but don't want to run a marathon or lift weights. She also demonstrates the floor exercises that helped maintain her own ballerina body while recovering from an injury. Misty's eating plan focuses on vegetables, fruits, plant fats, animal proteins and beneficial oils - all of which keep her energetic and in top shape. With simple and delicious recipes for Granola, Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad, Quick Salsa Chili, and even a Ballerina Smoothie, you'll be satisfied and happy while getting leaner. To keep you motivated, Misty gives tips and words of encouragement on persevering even when you may want to give up, including a peek into her personal journal, to inspire you and help you stay on the road to your own ballerina body.
    • £13.79
    • RRP £16.99
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  • Ray Barra: A Life in Ballet

    Victor Hughes

    Product Code: CDORL
    Paperback
    A Life in Ballet celebrates the life of Ray Barra who is perhaps one of the most beloved figures in the dance world. Barra helped to define the male dancer as not only the noble cavalier of classical ballet but also a forthright manly presence capable of macho, even unsympathetic behaviour. Victor Hughes explores Ray Barra's extensive career as a dancer, teacher, director and choreographer as he approaches his 90th birthday. From his early engagements with the San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre to his work with the Stuttgart ballet internationally and then later his retirement, Barra's achievements and contributions to the dance world are unparalleled. A torn Achilles' tendon brought an end to his dancing days, however, he remained part of the ballet scene by becoming ballet master with emerging choreographers such as Kenneth MacMillan in Berlin and John Neumeier in Frankfurt and Hamburg. His passion was the creation of his own ballets to which he has devoted himself with well-merited success.
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Royal Academy of Dance

    Pamela Hartshorne

    Product Code: CCWMY
    Hardback
    With a global membership of 14,000 and a presence in 84 countries, the Royal Academy of Dance has grown from its foundation in 1920 into one of the world's most influential dance education organisations. This lavishly illustrated volume celebrates 100 years of dancing and education, performances and competitions, and the Academy's many successful outreach projects. The book features special sections on music, choreography and costume, and on the traditions that many of those who have taken a ballet exam will remember.
    • £31.50
    • RRP £35.00
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  • Injury Prevention and Management for Dancers

    Nick Allen

    Product Code: CBYDZ
    Paperback
    Dancers represent a unique athletic population. They can often be required to perform a variety of shows of differing intensity and styles: professional ballet dancers may perform up to 150 shows a year, across eighteen different productions. The dynamic and demanding nature of dance can however lead to injury, making injury prevention and management a vital part of dance training. Drawing on research and knowledge from both sports and dance medicine, this book will provide dance and healthcare professionals with a fundamental understanding of dance terminology, physiology and movement requirements, and how these relate to specific injuries commonly sustained in dance. Proposed models and structures of pathology-specific rehabilitation and usable examples are illustrated with step-by-step photographs and anatomical diagrams, as well as case studies for common injuries. Training programmes, conditioning exercises and advice are supported by findings from contemporary medical literature to ensure an informed, conclusive and evidence-based approach to the healthcare of dancers. Chapters will cover a range of issues including the unique challenges seen in dance and how they differ from other athletic populations; physical preparation and conditioning for dance; injury prevention, tracking and management models and an exploration of the regional anatomical injuries commonly seen in dance. Structured rehabilitation and detailed exercise programmes are covered and dance criteria for musculoskeletal injuries, concussion and post-surgery are discussed.
    • £18.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Out Loud

    Mark Morris

    Product Code: CBXMG
    Hardback
    Before Mark Morris became "the most successful and influential choreographer alive" (The New York Times), he was a six year-old in Seattle cramming his feet into Tupperware glasses so that he could practice walking on pointe. Moving to New York at nineteen, he arrived to one of the great booms of dance in America. . Morris was flat broke but found a group of likeminded artists that danced together, travelled together, slept together. This collective, led by Morris's fiercely original vision, became the famed Mark Morris Dance Group. Suddenly, Morris was making a fast ascent. Celebrated by The New Yorker's critic as one of the great young talents, an androgynous beauty in the vein of Michelangelo's David, he and his company had arrived. Collaborations with the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yo-Yo Ma, Lou Harrison, and Howard Hodgkin followed. And so did controversy: from the circus of his tenure at La Monnaie in Belgium to his work on the biggest flop in Broadway history. But through the Reagan-Bush era, the worst of the AIDS epidemic, through rehearsal squabbles and backstage intrigues, Morris emerged as one of the great visionaries of modern dance, a force of nature with a dedication to beauty and a love of the body, an artist as joyful as he is provocative. Out Loud is the bighearted and outspoken story of a man as formidable on the page as he is on the boards. With unusual candour and disarming wit, Morris's memoir captures the life of a performer who broke the mold, a brilliant misfit who found his home in the collective and liberating world of music and dance.
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Royal Ballet: A Season in Pictures

    The Royal Ballet

    Product Code: CBKYF
    Paperback
    A beautiful gift book packed with pictures from the last year at The Royal Ballet - a richly illustrated companion to The Royal Ballet company.
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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  • In Strictest Confidence

    Craig Revel Horwood

    Product Code: BZMKB
    Paperback
    The third instalment in Craig Revel Horwood's frank and funny autobiography takes the reader through the highs and lows of the Strictly Come Dancing star's `fab-u-lous' life. Join Craig and a host of Strictly stars - including Ore Oduba, Judy Murray and the unforgettable Ed Balls - on the show and live tours and get the real stories from behind the scenes. The Aussie-born judge shares his famously forthright views on the changes in the show's line up, from Bruce Forsyth and Len Goodman's departures to the arrival of Claudia Winkleman and Shirley Ballas, as well as the dancers and stars. Away from Strictly, Craig reveals fresh heartache over failed romances, his pain at losing his dad and how his work kept him from flying to Australia for the funeral. He marks the milestones in his life, including turning fifty and moving from London to live in a `gorgeous' country pile, as well as going under the knife for a second hip operation plus a few nips and tucks. The multi-talented dancer, director and choreographer also discusses his award-winning shows, including Sister Act and Son of a Preacher Man, and spending a year in drag as Miss Hannigan in Annie. Plus, he reveals all about his foray into movies, choreographing Hugh Grant for Paddington 2 and making his big screen debut in Nativity Rocks. With his famous wit and a wealth of backstage gossip, In Strictest Confidence is the perfect read for all his fans as well as those of Strictly Come Dancing.
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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  • Peril en Pointe

    Helen Lipscombe

    Product Code: BYIDB
    Paperback
    Ballet Shoes meets Murder Most Unladylike in this fresh and funny spy story! Milly yearns to dance like her ballerina mum - but during the biggest performance of her life, she messes up and her mum disappears. Six months on, Milly receives an unexpected invitation to join the Swan House School of Ballet. Thrilled, Milly accepts, only to find that Swan House is no ordinary ballet school: it's a ballet school for spies. Can her new skills help her discover the truth about her mother's vanishing act?
    • £6.29
    • RRP £6.99
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  • Musicals for Skeptics

    Marc Raymond Strauss

    Product Code: BXVQX
    Paperback
    One of the few studies covering both Broadway and Hollywood musicals, this book explores most of the most famous musicals of the past two centuries, along with many others. Presented as an introductory text for musical, dance and theater majors, as well as for musical lovers, the book includes references for nearly 1000 internet video examples of dance and song.
  • Bauhaus Ballet

    Lesley Barnes

    Product Code: BYMAW
    Hardback
    Watch the dancers as they leap, spin and kick their way through this beautiful pop-up book. Inspired by the eccentric and innovative Bauhaus Triadic Ballet, this gorgeous book explores colours, shapes, patterns and movements in a visually stunning and enthralling way. With bold artwork rendered in Lesley Barnes' striking style and playful text by Gabby Dawnay, this special pop-up book will appeal to all ages.
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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  • Come Back to Me (Seal Island 3)

    Daniela Sacerdoti

    Product Code: BYLDU
    Paperback
    From the bestselling author of WATCH OVER ME, Daniela Sacerdoti's latest Seal Island novel is a romantic, moving and uplifting story of three different lives, connected by a thread. ** Over 1 million copies sold of Daniela Sacerdoti's novels ** Three separate lives. Three broken hearts. Haunted by his wife's death, Matt arrives on Seal Island determined to be alone and unable to escape his grief. In the island's hospital, a young woman named Rose lies in a coma, trapped by the memories of events leading up to her accident. Grace, the island's doctor, is at the heart of the community. Only she knows how much she regrets turning down the chance of love and a family years ago. For these three people hope seems gone. But life is about to offer an unexpected new beginning... Readers adore the captivating novels of Daniela Sacerdoti 'A love story that will satisfy even the most hopeless romantics' Daily Express 'Beautifully written and atmospheric' The Sun 'A great book' Lesley Pearse 'Emotional. I couldn't put it down' Daily Mail 'I fell in love with this book' Prima magazine
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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  • And Then We Danced

    Henry Alford

    Product Code: BYHKN
    Paperback
    "Captivating...equal parts memoir and cultural history, Henry Alford seamlessly interweaves heartwarming and hilarious anecdotes about his deep dive into all things dance" (Misty Copeland, The New York Times Book Review). When Henry Alford wrote about his experience with a Zumba class for The New York Times, little did he realize that it was the start of something much bigger. Dance would grow and take on many roles for Henry: exercise, stress reliever, confidence builder, an excuse to travel, a source of ongoing wonder, and-when he dances with Alzheimer's patients-even a kind of community service. Tackling a wide range of forms (including ballet, hip-hop, jazz, ballroom, tap, contact improvisation, Zumba, swing), Alford's grand tour takes us through the works and careers of luminaries ranging from Bob Fosse to George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp to Arthur Murray. Rich in insight and humor, Alford mines both personal experience and fascinating cultural history to offer a witty and ultimately moving portrait of how dance can express all things human. And Then We Danced "is in one sense a celebration of hoofer in all its wonder and variety, from abandon to refinement. But it is also history, investigation, memoir, and even, in its smart, sly way, self-help...very funny, but more, it is joyful-a dance all its own" (Vanity Fair).
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • Yuli

    Carlos Acosta

    Product Code: BWVBS
    Paperback
    The rags-to-riches story of one of the world's greatest dancers, from his difficult childhood, living in poverty in the backstreets of Cuba, to his astronomical rise to international stardom. In 1980, Carlos Acosta was just another Cuban kid of humble origins, the youngest son in a poor family named after the planter who had owned his great-great-grandfather. With few options and an independent spirit, Carlos spent his days on the streets, dreaming of a career in football. But even at a young age, Carlos had extraordinary talent. At nine, he was skipping school to win break-dancing competitions as the youngest member of a street-gang for whom dance contests were only a step away from violence. When Carlos's father enrolled him in ballet school, he hoped not only to nurture his son's talent, but also to curb his wildness. Years of loneliness, conflict and crippling physical effort followed, but today the Havana street-kid is an international star. This magical memoir is about more than Carlos's rise to stardom, however. It is the story of a childhood where food is scarce but love is abundant, where the soul of Cuba comes alive to influence a dancer's art. It is also about a man forced to leave behind his homeland and loved ones for a life of self-discipline, displacement and brutal physical hardship. Carlos Acosta makes dance look effortless, but the grace, strength and charm have come at a cost - here, in his own words, is the story of the price he paid. Previously published as `No Way Home'.
    • £8.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • Rudolf Nureyev

    Julie Kavanagh

    Product Code: BWFJV
    Paperback
    NOW A MAJOR FILM BY RALPH FIENNES, THE WHITE CROW 'A gripping account of an extraordinary life' Daily Telegraph Born on a train in Stalin's Russia, Rudolf Nureyev was ballet's first pop icon. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement - both on and off stage. Nureyev's achievements and conquests became legendary: he rose out of Tatar peasant poverty to become the Kirov's thrilling maverick star; slept with his beloved mentor's wife; defected to the West in 1961; sparked Rudimania across the globe; established the most rhapsodic partnership in dance history with the middle-aged Margot Fonteyn; reinvented male technique; gatecrashed modern dance; moulded new stars; and staged Russia's unknown ballet masterpieces in the West. He and his life were simply astonishing. 'Magnificent, a triumph. Captures every facet of this extraordinary man' Mail on Sunday 'The definitive study of a man who, in his combination of aesthetic grace and psychological grime, can truly be called a sacred monster' Observer 'Undoubtedly the definitive biography' Sunday Telegraph
    • £10.39
    • RRP £14.99
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  • The Zodiac Gestures in Eurythmy

    Werner Barfod

    Product Code: BWILO
    Paperback
    Eurythmy is an art form that makes sounds visible. By incorporating zodiac gestures into their art, as indicated by Rudolf Steiner, eurythmists can draw on a deep connection between the earth and the cosmos. The zodiac, as representative of the whole cosmos, is a vital part of human spirituality, acting as the backdrop to human life. But it can be hard to fathom the zodiac's secrets, even through meditation. Barfod draws a parallel between meditative exercises and eurythmy practice, and shows how zodiac gestures in eurythmy can reveal cosmic insights. This is a book for eurythmy teachers and practitioners who want to deepen their art and spiritual work.
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
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  • My Life

    Isadora Duncan

    Product Code: BWBSX
    Paperback
    The visionary choreographer and dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) not only revolutionized dance in the twentieth century but blazed a path for other visionaries who would follow in her wake. While many biographies have explored Duncan's crucial role as one of the founders of modern dance, no other book has proved as critical-as both historical record and vivid evocation of a riveting life-as her autobiography. From her early enchantment with classical music and poetry to her great successes abroad, to her sensational love affairs and headline-grabbing personal tragedies, Duncan's story is a dramatic one. My Life still stands alone as "a great document, revealing the truth of her life as she understood it, without reticence or apology or compromise" (New York Herald Tribune). Now, in this fully restored edition, with its risque recollections and fervent idealism, My Life can be appreciated by a new generation.
  • Broadway, Balanchine, and Beyond

    Bettijane Sills

    Product Code: BUQBQ
    Paperback
    In this memoir of a roller coaster career on the New York stage, former actor and dancer Bettijane Sills offers a highly personal look at the art and practice of George Balanchine, one of ballet's greatest choreographers, and the inner workings of his world-renowned company during its golden years. After getting her start on the stage as a child actor on Broadway, Bettijane Sills joined the New York City Ballet in 1961 as a member of the corps de ballet, working her way up to the level of soloist. As a company dancer who remained outside the spotlight that the principals enjoyed, Sills experienced a side of the company that prima ballerinas did not share in. She tells stories of taking class with Balanchine, dancing in the original casts of some of his most iconic productions, and working with some of the company's most famous dancers. Winningly honest and intimate, Sills lets readers in on the secrets of a world that most people have never seen firsthand. She reveals mistakes she made, the unglamorous parts of tour life, jealousy among company members, and Balanchine's complex relationships with women. She talks about Balanchine's insistence on thinness in his dancers and how her own struggles with weight ended her dancing career. Now a professor of dance who has educated thousands of students on Balanchine's style and legacy, Sills reflects on the highs and lows of a career indelibly influenced by the bright lights of theater and by the man who shaped American ballet.
  • Save Me The Waltz

    Zelda Fitzgerald

    Product Code: BTPGF
    Paperback
    Zelda Fitzgerald's only novel, Save Me The Waltz (1932) was written in six weeks after her admission to a sanatorium, as part of her therapy. It covers the period of her life that her husband F Scott Fitzgerald had been using for years while writing his Tender is the Night (1934). Fitzgerald revised her novel under her husband's guidance until they were both happy with it, but it sold poorly on publication. She died in 1940, and Save Me The Waltz is now recognised as a classic novel of woman's experience and an authentic record of the Jazz Age. It begins during the First World War. Alabama Beggs is a Southern belle, the younger daughter of a judge with no interest in life except enjoyment. She debuts into adulthood with wild parties, dancing and drinking, and flirting with the young officers posted to her home town. Then Lieutenant David Knight appears on the scene, and Zelda marries him. Their life in New York, Paris and the South of France closely mirrors the Fitzgeralds' own life and their prominent socialising in the 1920s and 1930s as part of what was later called the Lost Generation. Like F Scott Fitzgerald, David Knight is also a novelist, and like Zelda, Alabama is an aspiring dancer. She is committed to her dance training, attending her ballet studio in Paris every day for repetition, but refuses to accept that she might not become the great dancer that she ardently longs to be, threatening her health and her marriage. Erin Templeton's introduction to Zelda Fitzgerald's finest literary work describes how her struggles to become a dancer were the result of her need to have a life of her own rather than living in her husband's shadow.
    • £11.69
    • RRP £12.99
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  • The Rite of Spring

    Gillian Moore

    Product Code: BTOLS
    Hardback
    On 29 May 1913, at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, a new ballet by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, received its premiere. Many of the cultural big names of Paris were there, or were rumoured to have been there: Debussy, Ravel, Proust, Gertrude Stein, Picasso. When the curtain rose on a cast of frenziedly stamping dancers, a near-riot ensued, ensuring the evening would enter the folklore of modernism. While it was the dancing that triggered the mayhem, Stravinsky's score contained shocks enough, with its innovations in form, rhythm, dissonance and its sheer sonic power. The Rite of Spring would achieve recognition in its own right as a concert piece, and is now seen as one of the most influential works of the 20th century. Gillian Moore explores the cultural climate that created The Rite, tells the story of the creation of the music and the ballet and provides a guide to the music itself, showing how a scandalous novelty of 1913 became a 21st-century concert staple. As well as considering its influence on 20th-century classical composers, she probes The Rite's impact on film music (including scores for Star Wars and Jaws); its extensive influence on jazz musicians (including Charlie Parker) and by artists as diverse as Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and The Pet Shop Boys.
    • £18.89
    • RRP £18.99
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  • The Creation of iGiselle

    Nora Foster Stovel

    Product Code: BTNME
    Paperback
    The unusual marriage of Romantic ballet and artificial intelligence is an intriguing idea that led a team of interdisciplinary researchers to design iGiselle, a video game prototype. Scholars in the fields of literature, music, design, and computer science collaborated to modernize the 1841 ballet Giselle. Their goal was to revise the tragic narrative of the nineteenth-century culture of death, allowing players to empower the eponymous heroine for possible "feminine endings." The eight interrelated chapters chronicle the origin, development, and fruition of the project and exemplify collaboration. Dancers, gamers, and computer specialists will all find something original that will stimulate their respective interests. Contributors: Vadim Bulitko, Wayne DeFehr, Christina Gier, Pirkko Markula, Mark Morris, Sergio Poo Hernandez, Emilie St. Hilaire, Nora Foster Stovel, Laura Sydora

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