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Arlene Croce on BalanchineCroce's new book on Balanchine's ballets


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#16 dirac

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 11:21 AM

I kinda like the Taper book, too. It's not the Ultimate Balanchine Book, but it doesn't really aspire to be. It grew out of a profile for The New Yorker and of course that shows.

#17 bart

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 01:26 PM

Balanchine is very under-represented in the book world -- when you consider the vast number of pages devoted to the careers of dancers and other figures of less lasting importance.

Perhaps you had to be there, especially in the 50s - 70s, to appreciate just how central this man's creativity was to higher culture and the arts, and not just to ballet.

Any book about Balanchine (life OR works) -- assuming it is honest, accurate, true to its subject, and well-researched -- can't be anything but a blessing.

#18 Farrell Fan

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 01:33 PM

I like the Taper book so much I have three copies of it -- Harper & Row's first edition from 1963; Macmillan's "Revised and Updated" edition from 1974; and the Times Books edition of 1984, the year after Balanchine's death. Nevertheless, I understand canbelto's frustration very well. As dirac suggests, this is not the definitive biography the subject deserves, nor was it meant to be. But surely, this can't be the last word. We know that all his wives and mistresses remained friends with him after they became former wives and mistresses, and that he liked to compare himself to Mayakovsky, "I am not a man, but a cloud in pants." What's needed is a biography as towering creatively and psychologically complex as Balanchine himself. Perhaps it will be the work of another generation.

#19 dirac

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:12 PM

We know that all his wives and mistresses remained friends with him after they became former wives and mistresses.


Which always struck me as an odd circumstance. (It struck Moira Shearer, too, as indicated in her own Balanchine book, the brief “Balletmaster.”) I have my theories.

Balanchine is very under-represented in the book world -- when you consider the vast number of pages devoted to the careers of dancers and other figures of less lasting importance.


Very true, bart. Balanchine is often mentioned with Stravinsky and Picasso as a great 20th century innovator, but you wouldn't necessarily guess that by comparing book titles. I think, however, that dance figures in general, including dancers, are underrepresented.

#20 perky

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:28 PM

I e-mailed an inquiry to the publisher regarding the release date of this book and was told it has now been pushed back to January 2008. :(

#21 Grissi

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:55 AM

And what happened finally with it? I cannot find it...

#22 garybruce

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:35 PM

And what happened finally with it? I cannot find it...


Some of the editorial members of BT might want to invest time in discovering what happened to this given the prominence of subject and writer.

Speaking of Mr. B, I emailed the Trust to see whether they plan on having the two videos of Balanchine in Celebration turned into DVD's.

#23 carbro

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:55 PM

Some of the editorial members of BT might want to invest time in discovering what happened to this given the prominence of subject and writer.

I recently tried to learn from the publisher's site whether they'd named a new pub date. Nada. I did not send an inquiry, but anyone so motivated could.

#24 garybruce

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 08:23 PM

Some of the editorial members of BT might want to invest time in discovering what happened to this given the prominence of subject and writer.

I recently tried to learn from the publisher's site whether they'd named a new pub date. Nada. I did not send an inquiry, but anyone so motivated could.


Carbro, I just found "Ballet and Balanchine" by Arlene Croce being offered for sale at $50 on two Australian websites--www.chaos.com and www.holisticpage.com.au. Pub date is listed on both sites as March 15, 2008. But I could find it nowhere else...

This sounds bizarre, especially because no publisher is listed on either site for the book. What are they offering for sale?

#25 Helene

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:17 AM

I always forget about this book until this thread is revived.

I think all of my anxiety is focused on Robert Caro's progress on the volume about Lyndon Johnson's presidency.

#26 garybruce

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 09:00 AM

I always forget about this book until this thread is revived.

I think all of my anxiety is focused on Robert Caro's progress on the volume about Lyndon Johnson's presidency.


I think you've misplaced your anxiety :wink:

#27 Phaedra392

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 01:47 PM

Well, I may be an idiot, but I just ordered this book from www.chaos.com. I can't imagine why it would be available in Australia but not in the U.S. If the book ever arrives, I'll post here. My fingers are firmly crossed.

#28 bart

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:03 PM

Good luck, Phaedra391. I hope you'll be able to post good news. Let's hope that the name "chaos" isn't an accurate description of the way they do business. :shake:

Does anyone else have further news on this long-awaited book?

#29 dirac

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 01:51 PM

I suspect problems on the author's end. Writer's block, illness, who knows. But I wouldn't hold my breath for this one. Would be happy to be wrong.

#30 Phaedra392

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 06:22 PM

Well, I'm reporting back on my attempt to obtain the Croce book on Balanchine from chaos.com, one of two Australian sites that listed the book for sale. It was all a mistake, of course -- the book has not been released. I ordered it, paid over $60 for it, and waited. Nothing. After an inquiry by e-mail, chaos conceded that the book was "not currently available" and refunded my money. So although I lost nothing in the end, my hopes were cruelly dashed once again.

I'm back to checking amazon.com on a regular basis, but it's getting harder to believe that this volume will ever see the light of day. I want it too badly to give up, though. If it's not ever going to be published, I wish someone would announce that fact so I could stop all this ridiculous waiting. I think I first heard about it nearly six years ago. *** sigh ***


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