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Tributes: Celebrating Fifty Years Of New York City Ballet Hardcover – October 21, 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (October 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688157513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688157517
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The experience of dance is ephemeral. A lilting arabesque, an ascendant grand jeté, a precise pirouette--such movements exist for just a single moment. But the sensations they communicate to an audience member can be lasting. New York City Ballet has been one of America's preeminent companies since 1948. In Tributes, dancers, writers, and artists express their feelings for the company and its members to form an impressionistic view that captures the illusory essence of the ballet experience. Peter Martins, who inherited the role of artistic director upon the death of George Balanchine, opens the book by remembering how he only realized what ballet truly was the first time he danced with the company. City Ballet's creative triumvirate--Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Lincoln Kirstein--are recalled in an evocative set of essays. And from there, each page contains a gem that will take readers back to the first time they saw Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins perform the "Diamonds" pas de deux in Jewels, or watched Edward Villela in Watermill.

The thrill of observing these unearthly creatures practice their art--defying the laws of physics and the constraints of mere mortals--is palpable on every page. Henri Cartier-Bresson captures George Balanchine rehearsing his company. Agnes De Mille describes Jerome Robbins's "elements of style." The backdrops Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Robert Rauschenberg, and Erte designed for the company are here, along with the posters Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring created to advertise the company's presence at the 1988 American Music Festival. Poet James Merrill, illustrator Al Hirschfeld, artist Joseph Cornell, architect Phillip Johnson, and historian Robert Caro all pay homage to their favorite dancers. The list of luminaries who contributed to the book is too long to detail here, but each of their perspectives is unexpected and exciting. Playwright Wendy Wasserstein writes: "Nothing makes more sense to me than a night at the ballet.... Some girls want to have breakfast at Tiffany's, I just want a glass of champagne during the interval between Glass Pieces and Scotch Symphony on the State Theater Promenade." Ms. Wasserstein, an evening spent perusing this book is the next best thing. --Jordana Moskowitz

From Library Journal

The New York City Ballet marks its 50th anniversary with a year-long celebration of special performances and events that begins on opening night of the upcoming season, November 24, 1998. This book, both a prelude to the festivities and a keepsake of the occasion, is a compilation of "memories of dance and dancer, of music, of sets and costumes, of debuts and farewells" by a star-studded cast of contributors?including Susan Sontag, Wendy Wasserstein, and W.H. Auden?all of whom were significantly affected by the life's work of founding artistic director/choreographer George Balanchine, General Director Lincoln Kirstein, and the numerous talented people who worked with them. Richly illustrated costume sketches, set designs, studio and performance photographs, and poster art pairs nicely with a comprehensive repertory list, company chronology, discography, and videography to round out the book. Fans of the company will take great pleasure in the recollections, and other dance enthusiasts will have their appetites whetted by the heartfelt expressions of appreciation, admiration, and self-discovery.?Joan Stahl, National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L on February 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an avid patron of the New York City Ballet, I purchased Tributes hoping to learn more about the ballets and dancers who have been part of the Company at present and during their fifty year history. While the book itself is a nice presentation, with some interesting tidbits, but there is little if any of the information I was after. Mostly, the "tributes" are from writers and visual artists who are as interested in the ballet as I am. But I cannot help but to get the feeling that the book is a self-aggrandizing tome to their own selves courtesy of their close-knit artsy-fartsy friends.There are some truly beautiful photographs, such as Allegra Kent and Edward Villella on the cover, as well as some artist renderings of set designs. I would have loved to see more of the beautiful costumes (especially by Karinska) and perhaps a brief history of ballet. I would have liked notes about each of the pieces performed throughout their fifty year history as well as biographies and new photographs of the principal dancers. I mean, of course there is a picture of the current prima ballerina, Darci Kistler because not only is she a terrific dancer but she is married to Peter Martins who was a dancer and is the current Ballet Master in Chief of the NYCB (but so much for nepotism because there is no photograph of his son, Nilas, who is also a principal dancer at the NYCB). The contributors to Tributes are impressive as is the NYCB and it is too bad that the book falls short and that more thought did not go into this book to truly make it as wonderful a treasure as the company itself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a book with many types of media tributes to the NYC ballet...if you are looking for a book with illus. devoted to the need to look further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jude B on April 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This coffee table picture book is truly a wonderful collection of pictures, sketches, photographs, stories, and historic information about the New York City Ballet. With its larger than life presentation and color it would be a thoughful gift for anyone with a love affair with Balanchine or the NYCB.
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