STRAVINSKY AND BALANCHINE: A Journey of Invention

Charles M. Joseph, Author . Yale Univ. $40 (464p) ISBN 978-0-300-08712-3

"The ballets they forged together stand as one of the most extraordinary collaborative triumphs of the twentieth century," writes Joseph (Stravinsky Inside Out), a professor of music at Skidmore College, of composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer George Balanchine. Joseph takes a close look at the rapport of the two artists, creators of Apollo, Agon, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and other ballets in the early part of the century. According to Joseph, "no one balanced Stravinsky better than Balanchine," whom Stravinsky called "the perfect collaborator." While he explores the Stravinsky-Balanchine partnership from a musician's perspective (perhaps in the process slighting the contributions of choreographers and dancers), Joseph's detailed analyses of the music's form and structure in relationship to the dance is excellent. It is no mean feat that he is able to articulate precisely what it is about Balanchine's choreography that allows us, in Balanchine's words, to "see the music and hear the dance." Joseph's study may have benefited from a more balanced treatment of the ballets; admirers of Firebird or "Rubies" from Jewels will be sorely disappointed, and some may question the amount of space given to the little-known work The Flood. Overall, though, the book is a thoughtfully crafted tribute to the extraordinary working relationship of two geniuses of the modern era. A must for dance and music students, scholars and aficionados. (June 26)

Reviewed on: 05/13/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
Open Ebook - 461 pages - 978-0-300-12934-2
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-300-17697-1
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