Part of the new `Eminent Lives' series, this short biography captures the remarkable talent and spirit of the world's foremost contemporary choreographer and his legendary creative force.
Writing with wit, warmth and insight, Robert Gottlieb has created a loving portrait of a man he knew and admired, whose life story was almost as dramatic as some of the seminal performances he created for stage and screen. Founder of the School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet, Balanchine came to America from Russia in the early 1930s and married five times. His forays into films and musicals, as well as his reinterpretations of ballet classics, revolutionised the look of modern dance to such an extent that he remains a paramount influence in the dance world.
Building on a biographical tradition that can be traced back to Aubrey's `Brief Lives', Dr Johnson's `Lives of the Poets' and Lytton Strachey's `Eminent Victorians', this exciting and groundbreaking new series pairs great biographers, historians and novelists with iconic subjects, the writing bristling with original and distinctive points of view. `To preserve a becoming brevity which excludes everything that is redundant and nothing that is significant,' wrote Strachey. `That, surely, is the first duty of the biographer.'
Robert Gottlieb has been editor in chief of Simon & Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf, and The New Yorker. Books he has edited during his almost fifty years in publishing range from 'Catch-22' to 'My Life' by Bill Clinton, and include, in the dance field, books by Margot Fonteyn, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Paul Taylor, and Lincoln Kirstein. For many years he was associated with New York City Ballet as a member of the board of directors and as an unofficial part of management. Currently he writes literary criticism for the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, and The New Yorker, and is the dance critic for the New York Observer.