Illusions of Camelot: A Memoir (Autographed Hardcover)

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Item: 9780825309830


Illusions of Camelot: A Memoir (Autographed Hardcover)
by Peter Boal

From the artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and former principal dancer for the New York City Ballet comes an unforgettable memoir about one artist’s journey from boyhood to ballet.

Peter’s story starts in the pastoral and privileged town of Bedford, New York: a rare enclave 40 miles north of New York City where private schools, country clubs, and families hold their own rules and secrets. Within the town, views on race, morality, and sexuality are unspoken yet evident. Meanwhile, at home, Peter and his family are left to grapple with his father’s alcoholism and untimely death.

As a young boy finding his way, Peter soon turns to ballet. Ultimately his passion becomes a beacon, leading him to work at the New York City Ballet as a teenager, living on his own while discovering the pleasures and pitfalls Manhattan has to offer.

Throughout Peter’s deeply personal work, you’ll meet Hattie Lindsay, Peter’s caregiver, whose love for Peter matches her disdain for Henry, the family dog. You’ll step onto the clubhouse floor during ballroom dancing lessons in Bedford, into the studios of the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, and onto the stage in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker as Peter performs the title role of the Nutcracker Prince.

For all the laughter these stories offer, gravity is everywhere. Moments by Balanchine’s hospital bedside, or in the AIDS-ravaged ward at Columbia-Presbyterian hospital as a loved one’s life passes away are told with painful honesty and raw hurt. Peter’s journey takes us to the start of a storied career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet and leaves us with insights into the unique path of an artist and individual shaped by environment, circumstance, and family.

Autographed by the author.

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books (June 12, 2023)
  • Dimensions: 5.5” W x 8.25” H

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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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