Written with wit, insight, and candor, Balanchine is a book that will delight lovers of biography as well as those with a special interest in dance. For this edition the author has added a thoughtful yet dramatic account of the working out of Balanchine's legacy, from the making of his controversial will to the present day. The author explores the intriguing legal, financial, and institutional subplots that unfolded after the death of the greatest choreographer of the century, but the central plot of his epilogue is the aesthetic issue: In the absence of their creator, can the ballets retain their wondrous vitality? Taper illuminates the fascinating transmission of Balanchine's masterworks from one generation to another, an unprecented legacy in the history of ballet, that most evanescent of the arts.
Bernard Taper is Emeritus Professor of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.