Artistic profile of one of the 20th century's great choreographers. The literature on Balanchine is vast, but it is primarily biographical. Balanchine Variations is the first book to concentrate on the ballets themselves, providing critical analysis and detailed descriptions of what the dancers actually do.
Beginning with Apollo (1928), Balanchine's first extant work, and ending with one of his last ballets, Ballo della Regina (1978), Nancy Goldner offers detailed insights into more than 20 individual ballets. Based on lectures given across the United States, under the auspices of the Balanchine Foundation, they are intended to illuminate his art.
Goldner discusses the history of each ballet, places each in the context of Balanchine's life and sensibility. She also addresses his taste in music and whether his style can be considered particularly American.
The ballets Balanchine choreographed for the New York City Ballet are danced by companies around the world, and this innovative book is sure to become an indispensable guide to dancers and spectators alike. (Balanchine is a registered trademark of the George Balanchine Trust. The book is published by University Press of Florida.)
"Immensely - that's how much I enjoyed the walks through twenty-two of Balanchine's ballets on which Nancy Goldner took me! I look forward to strolling with her again whenever I'm about to go see one of her Balanchine ballets." (George Jackson)
"For the lay audience, this is an excellent introduction to watching Balanchine (and by extension ballet) guided by a thoughtful and articulate guide. For students of dance and balletomanes, it delves into details of craft, history and performance in a manner that elucidates as well as it entertains." (Rose Ann Thom)
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This is a great and informative book describing several dozen ballets by Balanchine, the 20th century choreographer. The author writes beautifully and describes dance movements vividly. The narrator, Celeste Lawson, does an excellent job, making me feel like the author was speaking directly to me.
- Elizabeth Klett