Mr. B: George Balanchine's 20th Century


Product Details

$40.00  $37.20
Random House
Publish Date
6.06 X 9.45 X 1.73 inches | 2.55 pounds

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About the Author

Jennifer Homans is the dance critic for The New Yorker. Her widely acclaimed, bestselling Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review. Trained in dance at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet, Homans danced professionally with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She earned her BA at Columbia University and her PhD in modern European history at New York University, where she is a Scholar in Residence and the Founding Director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts.


"It was one of the highlights of my life to know George Balanchine personally and professionally. I truly loved this man, but he certainly wasn't perfect. Jennifer Homans's meticulously researched Mr. B gives us an artist who is as complicated, and even flawed, as he was groundbreaking and brilliant. It is a fascinating read about a true genius and his unrelenting thirst for beauty in art and in life."--Mikhail Baryshnikov

"A magisterial biography . . . sensitive, stately, and often thrilling . . . Mr. B is a serious act of cultural retrieval."--New York Times

"For fans of Homans's 2010 classic, Apollo's Angels, the magic is back. Here she charts the life and times of arguably the 20th century's greatest choreographer."--Oprah Daily

"An intricate, meticulously researched biography of the revered and controversial dance icon . . . engrossing, vivid . . . the definitive account."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Jennifer Homans has not only resurrected George Balanchine, she has restored the Russia that disappeared out from behind him. More remarkably, she pins dance to the page with the precision, intensity, and range her subject prized. The result is lyrical and commanding, among the most electrifying pas de deux you're likely to find on the biography shelf."--Stacy Schiff

"This isn't dutiful biography, this is literature as vibrant and alive as Balanchine's art."--Gary Shteyngart

"A revelatory, aptly melodramatic portrait of Balanchine and his aesthetic . . . Homans, an ex-ballerina who trained at Balanchine's School of American Ballet, knows this world well."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[Homans] is the ideal person to tell Balanchine's story. She is able to bring Balanchine's dances to life, even for readers who have never seen them, through her detailed descriptions."--Daily Beast

"An extraordinary biography by one of America's most prominent dance writers . . . the level of detail and depth of research are mind boggling, but most compelling are Homans's insights into Balanchine's emotional and spiritual life . . . Homans writes with the care and lyricism of a poet and every page is a joy."--Lit Hub

"A must-read biography . . . an indispensable reference book for anyone who cares about ballet, viewers and performers alike."--Fjord Review

"A masterful rendition of Europe's twentieth-century cultural history. It's a magnificent achievement."--Jan T. Gross

"Captures the full complexity of Balanchine's life and art, placing both in a historical context that makes for a riveting narrative. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a better book about this genius. . . a masterpiece."--Amanda Vaill

"With unique expertise in ballet . . . Homans shows rare insider understanding of Balanchine's inexhaustible creativity . . . a magnificent and enthralling biography with an epic historical sweep."--Marina Warner

"Mr. B is brilliant--there is nothing of its kind . . . Homans brings a keen historian's mind and a dancer's physical knowledge to her unflinching account of Balanchine's life."--Heather Watts, former principal dancer, New York City Ballet

"Mr. B is awe-inspiring. The evocative writing and research that is as deep as it is meticulous make me feel like I am right there with Balanchine."--Merrill Ashley, former principal dancer, New York City Ballet