“For soundness, for clarity, for succinctness, this manual of basic ballet is the best there is anywhere.”
—Edwin Denby, The Nation
With a precision unparalleled in any other book of its kind, The Classic Ballet presents a lucid text, and nearly six hundred drawings describe and illustrate in minute detail the proper body position, balance point, movement, and attitude of each position and step in the basic classical repertory.
As George Balanchine wrote in his preface: “There are no shortcuts to great dancing, but what is necessary to remember and unalterable in its instruction may be found in this book . . . An admirable source of reference for the highest standard of practice.” It is an invaluable tool for the student or teacher of ballet—as well as a must-have treasure for the balletomane.
Lincoln Kirstein founded the School of American Ballet in 1934 with George Balanchine, and in 1948 the two men established the New York City Ballet, for which Kirstein served as general director until l989. He wrote more than five hundred books, articles, and monographs on the arts, as well as criticism, poetry, novels, and a number of historical and autobiographical works. He died in 1996.
Muriel Stuart, the last protégée of Anna Pavlova, was an instructor at the School of American Ballet for thirty-five years.