BALANCHINE by Bernard aper
Kirkus Star


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yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. This is a biography but it is also about the spirit of improvisation and of art, and you must let your mind dance with the material. It is marvelous stuff. Formally, the biography carries Balanchine from his youth in Moscow up to the present, cataloguing his considerable love affairs as well as all the ballets he shoregraphed. There are many madcap scenes- such as this one. When Balanchine lived in Paris with Alexandra Danilova, he was scheduled to appear in Copenhagen for a short management with the Royal Danish Ballet. Importing a 1931 Willys roadster, he found he could not pay the import duties into France. Giving the car to the nearest bystander, we went back to Paris- to Alexandra who had bought a complete green wardrobe to go with the car-and who promptly christened him with the love offering -- a bottle of perfume-that he brought back instead of the car.... Up on its toes- this is a delightful memoir, but at the book's heart, however, is Balanchine's ability to fashion beauty out of thin air and a little music.

Publisher: Harper & Row