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Arabesque: Dancing On The Edge In Los Angeles


The prequel to the award-winning The Church of Tango: A Memoir.

“Sometimes on the way to realizing your dreams, the path divides and you get lost…”.

Arabesque relates love and madness, adolescence and university, the ’60s before the world changed, and above all, Los Angeles–its buildings, life-style, history, and people.

At seventeen, Cherie was on the edge of a dance career, an education at UCLA, a passionate love, and a life of her own. It was 1960 and the world was also on the threshold of cataclysmic change while she wrestled with twisted dreams, love turned dark, goals spun upside down, and debilitating depression that hospitalized her.


“A wonderful book, not only for the excellent portrait it paints of a dancer, trials and tribulations, but, as a ‘subplot’ an absolutely MARVELOUS picture of the 50’s and the 60’s as well as of a Los Angeles that , like that period, is no longer in existence. Made me nostalgic for the LA of old as well as the ‘olden days.’ Could not put it down.”

Ruth K. Ziony, Amazon


A 5-Star Readers’ Favorite!

Reviewed By Astrid Iustulin

for Readers’ Favorite

There are real-life events that can be told like novels. They have so much joy, sorrow, and emotion that it is enough to pick up a pen and let the memories flow to tell a delightful story. This is the impression you have when you read Cherie Magnus’s Arabesque: Dancing on the Edge in Los Angeles. In this intense memoir, the author recalls growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Dance is her whole life, and she wants to become a dancer and a choreographer. She reveals her hopes for her career and talks about friends, family, and love. However, she has to make choices that take their toll on her health.

After finishing Arabesque, I realized that this book has two major strong points. The first is the honesty with which Magnus pens her story. She hides nothing and shares her experiences, hopes, and dreams in a way that makes you instinctively like her. Her life has not been a bed of roses, and yet many passages of her book are joyous, especially when she remembers her early years and travels. The second aspect to consider is equally significant. Magnus does not only write her own story but remembers important events, such as civil rights fights, that took place in Los Angeles and America when she was growing up. These references offer an interesting cross-section of America in those years and add a touch of nostalgia to Arabesque. On the whole, this book is a fascinating read, and I recommend it to those who like good writing and stories of a recent past.

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