George Balanchine American Ballet Master

Overview

As a boy in tsarist Russia, Gyorgy Balanchivadze never wanted to be a dancer. When his mother enrolled him in the Imperial School of Ballet, he ran away at the first opportunity. Yet he returned to endure years of strict training. Along the way, he discovered the magic and power of music and dance. Gyorgy Balanchivadze became George Balanchine, American Ballet Master and creator of popular dances for Broadway, films, and even the circus. Together with Lincoln Kirstein, Balanchine formed a dance company in New ...
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Overview

As a boy in tsarist Russia, Gyorgy Balanchivadze never wanted to be a dancer. When his mother enrolled him in the Imperial School of Ballet, he ran away at the first opportunity. Yet he returned to endure years of strict training. Along the way, he discovered the magic and power of music and dance. Gyorgy Balanchivadze became George Balanchine, American Ballet Master and creator of popular dances for Broadway, films, and even the circus. Together with Lincoln Kirstein, Balanchine formed a dance company in New York that defined modern ballet as an American art form. This inspiring biography shows how Balanchine became one of the most creative and influential dance choreographers of the 20th century.

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

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
For the serious ballet student or aficionado, there can't be too much information about the life of one of ballet's great choreographers, George Balanchine. His life was one of struggle. In the early years, it was a struggle for survival in Russia during the rule of the Tsar and the subsequent Russian Revolution; then it was an artistic struggle, breaking away from the classic forms he was taught; and throughout his life, he struggled to accept the women he worshiped and loved (all dancers) as real, sometimes flawed, human beings. His artistic output was astounding, and his ballets and talented students are still in evidence. Balanchine truly was one of the founders of American ballet.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Kristy 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
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822549512
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: Lerner Biographies Series
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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