Behind the Scenes at Boston Ballet

Christine Temin with Photos by Wally Gilbert

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A photographic portrait of an entire ballet season

"An amazing book. Temin is a crackerjack journalist, and this book touches on every hot-button issue that is relevant to ballet companies today."--Mindy Aloff

"Temin and Gilbert have given us a long-overdue libretto for a ballet about a ballet company. Players on both sides of the proscenium will find Behind the Scenes at Boston Ballet a real page-turner!"--Toba Singer, author of First Position

For centuries, ballet companies have been transporting audiences beyond their workaday worlds, one performance at a time. A layperson who sees a ballerina perform in Swan Lake may be thrilled or impressed--may imagine the hours of rehearsal that lie behind each performance or understand something about the demands made on a dancer--but many who appreciate ballet remain unacquainted with all the steps, parts, people, and money that must come together for a world-class company to complete a season of performances.

Beyond the flash of lights onstage is a world of physical trainers and fundraisers, artistic directors and executive boards, all laboring to ensure that the show goes on. In this unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the life of a company, former Boston Globe dance critic Christine Temin and photographer Wally Gilbert present a compelling portrait of the Boston Ballet. Their evocative prose and penetrating photography turn the spotlight on all the elements--from toe shoes and costumes to rehearsals and revenue--that come together (or fall apart) in a season.

Boston Ballet, in turn, makes a perfect study: After a rash of mysterious firings and defections in the early 2000s, the company seems to have moved past the controversy with a new artistic director and a new schedule of international performances. Its story highlights the tremendous amount of work and energy that goes in before the curtain can ever go up.

Christine Temin was a staff writer and dance critic for the Boston Globe for more than twenty-five years. Wally Gilbert is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

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"An eloquent and well-researched look into how elaborate company productions come to life."
--Dance Teacher

"Showcases not only the legacy of financial struggle that plagues American ballet companies in general, but also the grit, determination, passion and commitment of every member of the Boston Ballet. What stands out with clarity is how those values have persevered and worked together to form one of America's most prestigious ballet companies."
--Dance International

"Temin's and Gilbert's absorbing, ultimately unresolved chronicle of a company performing to acclaim yet monetarily menaced underscores the current uncertain climate for dance in America. One can but wish Boston Ballet the benefaction due its talent and commitment."
--(London) Times Higher Education Supplement

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