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Paperback Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique Book

ISBN: 0813029775

ISBN13: 9780813029771

Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

When still a young dancer in the New York City Ballet, Suki Schorer was chosen by George Balanchine to lecture, demonstrate, and teach--he recognized in her that rare dancer who not only performs superbly but can also successfully pass along what she knows to others. In Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique, she commits to paper the fruit of her twenty-four-year collaboration with Balanchine in a close examination of his technique for teachers, scholars,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Wonderful resource for fine-tuning technique

This is a fascinating book that combines instruction, biography, and history. Although Balanchine's technique is indisputably idiosyncratic, the ways in which his methods have impacted the rest of the ballet world make this book an indispensable guide for those seeking to fine-tune their technique. I, personally, found the visual imagery used to be extremely helpful in giving nuance to my steps, even ones as (arguably) simple as saute arabesque. (I was also thrilled to find Ms. Schorer's advice on how to improve one's batterie, as ballon has never been my strong suit and jumps such as royales and entrechats have long been the bane of my existence.) In response to the reviewer who was shocked to find that Balanchine told dancers never to put their heels down when coming down from jumps, such advice would indeed be deleterious; however, in the text Ms. Schorer went on to explain that Balanchine did not mean such a thing literally, but was instead using it as an image to help his dancers roll through their feet and control their landings. Even for those who, like myself, will never come close to auditioning for the School of American Ballet, let alone dancing for NYCB, this book is a fascinating look at Balanchine technique that can breathe new life into even the basic steps of ballet. The photographs are lovely, as well as instructive, and the text is peppered with anecdotes of Ms. Schorer's time studying under Balanchine. I highly, highly recommend this book, especially to advanced students of ballet.

Former dancer

I was trained in the Balanchine technique, and although interpretations vary on what Balanchine wanted from his dancers, this book is a must have for dancers, teachers and ballet fans in general. Suki was one of the original Balanchine dancers, and it is wonderful that she put forth the effort to carry on his methods of technique and training.

A Wonderful Book

This book shows the technique that the ballet master, George Balanchine, wanted his dancers to use to be the best dancers they could possibly be. Being a dancer, I found this book to be quite fascinating, but, you don't have to be a dancer to enjoy it. Even if you get bored with reading, the photographs will certainly captue your intrest.

An Invaluable Guide

This book is a comprehensive look at George Balanchine's ballet technique. Balanchine himself thought that he would be remembered more for his teaching than his choreography and Schorer does an excellent job in detailing the technique that he molded for New York City Ballet. The book covers Barre Work, Upper Body, Pointework and Related Releve, Jumps, as well as a section you rarely see covered in a technique book, Partnering. Every exercise is clearly described both in words and with a photograph, and Schorer often includes analogies and other teaching tools that she uses to get her students to understand the particular quality of a movement. This book is an invaluable source of information about ballet technique whether or not you subscribe to what is know as "Balanchine Technique." I also highly recommend reading "Pointework," also by Schorer, as well as watching the three "Balanchine Essays" videos, where Schorer herself instructs New York City Ballet dancer Merrill Ashley and three students in the areas of Arabesque, Passe and Attitude, and Port de Bras.

An Inside Job

This book is comprehensive, well-crafted, interesting to read, and loaded with insightful anecdotes and great photographs on proper Balanchine technique, written by a stellar teaching protege of the choreographic master of the last half century whose output of serious new works dwarfs virtually all efforts by everyone else in that time frame. Suki Schorer (who is listed in Who's Who in America), like very few other people, knows what Balanchine wanted his students to learn, especially regarding his extensions to classical ballet, giving birth to the neoclassical technique which dancers of other schools find so difficult to master, but from which they cannot escape. This book is an inside job, a major contribution to the literature, and truly informative.
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