Mr. B

George Balanchine's 20th Century

Preorder
  • Share

On Sale 2022-11-01

Copy and paste the below script into your own website or blog to embed this book.

Based on a decade of unprecedented research, the first major biography of George Balanchinea broad-canvas portrait set against the backdrop of the tumultuous century that shaped the man The New York Times called “the Shakespeare of dancing”—from the bestselling author of Apollo’s Angels.

Arguably the greatest choreographer who ever lived, George Balanchine was one of the cultural titans of the twentieth century—The New York Times called him “the Shakespeare of dancing.” His radical approach to choreography—and life—reinvented the art of ballet and made him a legend. Written with enormous style and artistry, and based on more than one hundred interviews and research in archives across Russia, Europe, and the Americas, Mr. B carries us through Balanchine’s tumultuous and high-pitched life story and into the making of his extraordinary dances.

Balanchine’s life intersected with some of the biggest historical events of his century. 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 ballet in America to the forefront of modernism and made it a popular art. None of this was easy, and we see his loneliness and failures, his five marriages—all to dancers—and many loves. We follow his bouts of ill health and spiritual crises, and learn of his profound musical skills and sensibility and 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: the definitive biography of the man his dancers called Mr. B.

- About the author -

Jennifer Homans is the dance critic for The New Yorker. Her widely acclaimed, bestselling Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review. Trained in dance at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, Homans danced professionally with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She earned her BA at Columbia University and her PhD in modern European history at New York University, where she is a Scholar in Residence and the Founding Director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts.

More from Jennifer Homans

Mr. B

George Balanchine's 20th Century

Mr. B

— Published by Random House —