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Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers
Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers
There are few jobs more rarefied or as physically and mentally demanding as prima ballerina. And yet, despite very real professional risks, three dancers from the world-class San Francisco Ballet all decided to have children at the pinnacle of their careers. In Balancing Acts, photographer Lucy Gray takes readers on an unforgettable fourteen-year journey with these ballerinas, capturing their remarkable grit and determination.
In dramatic black-and white photography, Gray documents their struggles to balance the demands of family and work—from their tireless preparation in rehearsals and dazzling mastery of craft displayed on stage, to their time spent relaxing at home with family and even while giving birth. In extensive interviews the dancers and their husbands discuss their stories with great candor, providing remarkable insight into the life of a ballerina and the everyday challenges and joys of mothers everywhere.
Lucy Gray is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Independent, Mother Jones, Dance Magazine, and Salon.com, as well as in exhibitions and projects across the United States
In classic or contemporary ballet, dancing may tell a story, express a mood, or simply reflect the music in movement. Ballet as part of staged performances originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and from there spread to France. The creation of classical ballet as we know it today occurred during the reign of the art-loving French king Louis XIV in the mid-17th century. During the Romantic era, ballet technique evolved to express new ideas, most notably with women dancing en point, or on their toes, allowing them to appear weightless and otherworldly.
Among the choreographers who helped bring ballet into the modern age by exploring new visual and dramatic styles are George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and—bridging the worlds of classical dance and Broadway—Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins.
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