Balanchine the Teacher:
Fundamentals That Shaped the First Generation of New York City Ballet Dancers

Barbara Walczak and Una Kai


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An invaluable resource for dance teachers everywhere

"Presents us with far more than any other ballet technique books--a rare look into Balanchine's studio from its earliest days to the time of his company's pinnacle years. A major contribution to the preservation of the Balanchine legacy."--Tamara Tomic-Vajagic, correspondent, Orchestra Dance Magazine

"The most compelling aspect of the book for me was the detail of the classes that George Balanchine taught! It's all there! This book is invaluable for all dancers! "--Vida Brown Olinick, former ballet mistress, New York City Ballet

Widely regarded as the foremost choreographer of contemporary ballet, George Balanchine was, and continues to be, an institution and major inspiration in the world of dance.

Balanchine the Teacher is a technical explanation of the stylistic approaches that he taught in New York City between 1940 and 1960, as recorded by two prominent dancers who studied with him at that time. This phenomenal resource replicates moments in the studio with the influential teacher, vividly and meticulously describing his instructions and corrections for twenty-four classes.

These lessons not only introduce Balanchine’s methods for executing steps but also discuss the organization and development of his classes, shedding light on the aesthetics of his unique and celebrated style of movement. This is an indispensable ballet resource and a must-read for dancers, musicians, researchers, and balletomanes.

Barbara Walczak studied with Balanchine from the 1940s to the 1960s, appearing as a soloist with the New York City Ballet. She has served as a guest instructor at the School of American Ballet and currently teaches ballet in New York City. Una Kai, a founding member of the New York City Ballet, worked closely with Balanchine as a student and later as assistant ballet mistress and ballet master for the company.

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" One can add this book to the collection of stellar texts about teaching professional ballet. These two authors have keen discering eyes for details and elephant memories."
--Attitude

"An invaluable book for the serious student and teacher."
--Dance Expression

"The authors manage to vividly detail his style. This guide is for all levels of teachers who wish to pass on Balanchine's methodology to advanced students."
--Dance Teacher

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