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Mr. B

Mr. B

Jennifer Homans

On Sale Date: November 7, 2023

Regular price $24.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $24.00 USD
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Based on a decade of research by The New Yorker's celebrated dance critic, the first major biography of George Balanchine, the man The New York Times called “the Shakespeare of dancing.”

"A fascinating read about a true genius and his unrelenting thirst for beauty in art and in life.”—Mikhail Baryshnikov

Winner of the Marfield Prize for Arts Writing • Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award

“A truly great work that changes everything.”—Hilton Als

Arguably the greatest choreographer who ever lived, George Balanchine was one of the cultural titans of the twentieth century. He created more than 400 ballets, including SerenadeAgon, and his now iconic version of The Nutcracker. His radical approach to choreography reinvented the art of ballet and made him a legend. Written with enormous style and artistry, and based on more than 100 interviews and research in archives across Russia, Europe, and the Americas, Mr. B carries us through Balanchine’s tumultuous and dramatic life and into the making of his extraordinary dances.

Born in Russia under the last Czar, Balanchine experienced the upheavals of World War I, the Russian Revolution, exile, World War II, and the Cold War. A co-founder of the New York City Ballet, he pressed dance in America to the forefront of modernism and made it a popular art. None of this was easy, and Homans shows us his loneliness and failures, his five marriages—all to dancers—and many loves. We follow his bouts of illness and spiritual crises, and learn of his immense determination to make some of the most glorious, strange, and beautiful dances ever to grace the modern stage.

With full access to Balanchine’s papers and many of his dancers, Jennifer Homans, the dance critic for The New Yorker and a former dancer herself, has spent more than a decade researching Balanchine’s life and times to write a vast history of the twentieth century through the lens of one of its greatest artists, and the definitive biography of the man his dancers called Mr. B.
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