George Balanchine: American Ballet Master (Lerner Biographies)

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9780822549512: George Balanchine: American Ballet Master (Lerner Biographies)

A biography of the Russian-born choreographer largely responsible for popularizing and developing ballet in the United States.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

How Gyorgy Balanchivadze, would-be naval cadet in Tsarist Russia, turned into one of the principal figures in American dance is a riveting story. Kristy (Coubertin's Olympics, 1995, etc.) does a fine job of presenting Balanchine as both the man and the artist. She discusses Balanchine's several marriages and his tendency to fall in love with the dancers who would dance his finest choreography, without making him sound decadent and without rendering such facets of his life unimportant. The man lived in fascinating times, from the Tsarist patronage of the Maryinsky ballet school on Theatre Street through WW I and the Russian Revolution, to the exuberant 1920s in Western Europe and the depression in Europe and the US, to the peak of ballet excitement in the 1970s. All the while, he concentrated on what he found important--his choreography. The writing is very straightforward and plain, which makes the book accessible but does not capture all Balanchine's complexities. (b&w photos, sources, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-12) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8?Kristy effectively details Balanchine's place in the history of ballet and shows the immeasurable influences he had upon the dance world. The book opens with Balanchine's childhood in Russia and his "imprisonment" at the Imperial School of Ballet, and it follows him through his later career and achievements. The author does not skip lightly over his relationships with many women, and she implies that Balanchine's demand for the "ideal" tall, thin dancer led many dancers to become bulimic and anorexic. His temper and negative influences are merely implied without being explored. The book presents a lot of information about Balanchine, but leaves one wanting to know more about his personality and emotions. Kristy covers quite a bit in few pages, rendering issues simplistically at times rather than fleshing them out. Interesting black-and-white photos go along with the text, but do not expand on it. Still, report writers and balletomanes will find what they need here.?Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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