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Five Stunning Images of Balanchine at Work

To celebrate the anniversary of George Balanchine's birth—January 22, 1904—Dance Magazine has chosen five of our favorite photographs of the legendary choreographer at work.


Balanchine with Diana Adams in 1959.
Photo by Martha Swope/NYPL, DM Archives

Balanchine with Suzanne Farrell in Don Quixote.
Photo by Fred Fehl, DM Archives

Balanchine in the studio, date unknown.
Photo by Kenn Duncan, DM Archives

Balanchine with Igor Stravinsky, working on Agon in 1957.
Photo by Martha Swope/NYPL, DM Archives

Balanchine with Jacques d'Amboise and Diana Adams in 1963.
Photo by Martha Swope/NYPL, DM Archives


The Conversation
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.

Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.

I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.

That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?

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