Age Range: 9 - 12
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 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)

Pub Date: June 26th, 1996
ISBN: 0-8225-4951-4
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Lerner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1996