I Remember Balanchine

Francis Mason, Author Doubleday Books $25 (604p) ISBN 978-0-385-26610-9
Observing the mourners gathered at George Balanchine's funeral in 1983, Ballet Review editor Mason asked himself how these colleagues might sustain the legacy of America's foremost choreographer, cofounder of the New York City Ballet. Searching for the answer, he interviewed some 100 people. The resulting anthology of oral histories offers a gargantuan array of 85 voices, including both a virtual who's who of 20th-century ballet and sundry other contributors, though Tanaquil LeClercsic , Suzanne Farrell and Jerome Robbins are not represented. At 600 pages, the spectrum of opinion ranges from adulatory to irreverent: Maria Tallchief concludes, ``As always, George was right,'' while William Weslow recalls, in amusing detail, in what respects Balanchine ``loved the smell of women.'' While some of the oral histories share the inherent flaws of the genre--speakers ramble, and individuality of voice is not always vibrantly present--the collection is a sine qua non of Balanchiniana. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 640 pages - 978-0-385-26611-6
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