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Swanilda8

Steichen on Balanchine and Kirstein in the 1930s

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As a heads up, James Steichen's book on Balanchine and Kirstein in the 1930s just came out (Balanchine and Kirstein's American Enterprise). I'm biased because I know the author, but I really enjoyed it. It's a very interesting look at American ballet in the 1930s and the research is phenomenal. In particular, I think we so often look at Balanchine in the 1930s through the lens of the 50s and 60s that the picture becomes distorted. This does a great job of placing Balanchine in this time, not inherently destined to become THE ballet choreographer and leader of NYCB but rather one of many interesting Russian ballet choreographers working in the US, part of a network of dance experts and artists and philanthropists and impresarios  – there's really interesting stuff about the early versions of Serenade and Concerto Barocco as well. 

https://www.amazon.com/Balanchine-Kirsteins-American-Enterprise-Steichen/dp/0190607416/ref=zg_bsnr_1474_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CAWAEYS9VS9PY3NCVNKP

 

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Thanks for the heads' up, Swanilda! I just ordered the book from Amazon. I love the photo they're using for the cover. True to the legend of Balanchine's arrival in the US, when he was confronted with a bunch of amateurs, and still managed to create Serenade. The photo shows him intently at work with the material at hand - no complaints from him, just making the best of what he has, and judging from the attentive expression of the dancers, he already has their cooperation and respect. And we know it developed into something beautiful. I look forward to reading the book. 

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