...Although I'm sure she was important to him in certain ways, I became less convinced as the book went on that she had the kind of influence Kendall was proposing. I also enjoyed the later section of the book where Kendall points out how, specifically, Balanchine's Russian roots and experiences influenced his choreography in the West. Oh, yes, and the convoluted dynamics of Balanchine's family.....this book is SO rich in so many ways that I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in ballet! And bravos to the author for an exceptional body of research.
Hi Stage Right - If you read the interview with Kendall mentioned above, I think you will understand better that even Kendall was unsure if the "Lost Muse" notion would work. But she felt that it was worth showing the connections between Ivanova and Balanchine, and letting readers decide for themselves. I tend to agree with you that some of Kendall's assertions go too far, given the evidence, but I appreciated her efforts all the same. It was good of her to celebrate the short life of Lidia Ivanova.
In Alexandra Danilova's autobiography, Choura, she recounts a dream that Balanchine told her about:
'George told me that not long after Lidia was drowned, he saw her in a dream. "I am so lonely," she said, reaching out to me. "I want Choura." "No, no," he said, and he pulled me back, away from her.
We all loved Lidia and were terribly upset at losing her. But it was years before we understood what had gone on; the extent of the tragedy dawned on us only later. In a sense, she was a casualty of the Revolution.'