Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker” as Want to Read:
George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Part of the Eminent Lives Series, this biography, written by the gifted author Robert Gottlieb, will describe the life of the dynamic George Balanchine, the foremost contemporary choreographer in ballet. Timed to coincide with the 2004 centenary of the artist's birth.

The life and achievement of the great choreographer who both summed up everything that proceeded him in bal
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Eminent Lives
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about George Balanchine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about George Balanchine

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeilddancergirl by Carol M. TanzmanDancing on My Grave by Gelsey KirklandRussian Winter by Daphne KalotayThe Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur
Best Books About Dance
45th out of 124 books — 127 voters
The Ballet Companion by Eliza Gaynor MindenApollo's Angels by Jennifer HomansPassion to Dance by James NeufeldGeorge Balanchine by Robert GottliebDancing Through Time by Christopher Dafoe
Non Fiction Ballet
4th out of 9 books — 3 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 204)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is a great place to start if you don't know very much about Balanchine. It's short, readable, and offers a high-level introduction to Balanchine's life and his contributions to ballet. Robert Gottlieb can get a little pretentious at times (as he keeps mentioning how he and other NYCB backers were more visionary than the dance critics writing about Balanchine's shows), but he does a nice job of distilling seventy years into 200 pages.

Balanchine on the Danes: "The people here are shit. Nobody
A succinct survey of Balanchine, read just in time for Los Angeles Ballet's Balanchine Festival Gold (Balanchine Red is still running, fyi) which I saw with C and her dad. I can no longer tell what I learned from this book as opposed to the million other ballet memoirs I've read, but it does neatly encapsulate why Balanchine and his dancers have captured my fascination.

Here is Balanchine on his own beginnings as a dancer: "I was, as a matter of fact, a wonderful dancer."

Balanchine's philosophy
George Balanchine actually has a pretty fascinating life story, (Don’t worry Lucius, I’m not praising him as a choreographer) but this book was nearly impossible to get through because of the dull voice the author employed. Yes, this is a biography, thus non-fiction, but that does not automatically toss a book in the boring category. Certainly, a biographer’s job is different than that of a fiction writer. A biographer must stick to the solid facts, while a fiction writer is free to do whatever ...more
fabulous, from gottlieb who was there. nice to mention in passing that you edited Catch-22; was editor in chief at the New Yorker; and worked to run the NYCB with Balanchine and Kirstein. Favorite anecdote: there's a techie smoking on the stage as he cleans up, Balanchine loses his temper for the only time in his life and screams at the man: "You don't smoke here! This is a stage! People DANCE here.
This wasn't anything spectacular, but was a good no-frills summary of George Balanchine's life. It's only a couple hundred pages and though you could read something more lyrical and, let's face it, more juicy, this is a good way to get a quick snapshot in a short amount of time.
Aug 06, 2008 Frank rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dance fans
A very good short bio of the best ballet choreographer of the 20th century.
Short and sweet.
Clem marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2015
Christina marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2015
Ethan marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2015
Aaron marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2015
Lilit Mkrtchyan
Lilit Mkrtchyan marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2015
Nesrine marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2015
Myles Mchale
Myles Mchale marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2015
Shay is currently reading it
Jun 23, 2015
Sarah Goar
Sarah Goar marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2015
Saxa Sanz
Saxa Sanz marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2015
Barbara Lemere
Barbara Lemere marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2015
Alice marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Balanchine: Russian or American? 1 2 Aug 04, 2011 08:38AM  
  • Margot Fonteyn
  • Once a Dancer: An Autobiography
  • I Was a Dancer
  • Nureyev: The Life
  • Maria Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina
  • Holding On to the Air
  • Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal
  • Classical Ballet Technique
  • Isadora: A Sensational Life
  • Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet
  • Blood Memory
  • I, Maya Plisetskaya
  • Push Comes to Shove
  • The Sugarless Plum
  • Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet
  • The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky
  • The Shape of Love
  • Steps in Time
Robert Gottlieb has been the editor in chief of Alfred A. Knopf and The New Yorker. He is the author of Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhard, George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker, Lives and Letters (FSG, 2011), and Great Expectations and is the dance critic for The New York Observer.
More about Robert Gottlieb...

Share This Book