Cover image for Suki Schorer on Balanchine technique
Suki Schorer on Balanchine technique
Schorer, Suki.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1999.
Physical Description:
xv, 426 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1788 .S288 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV1788 .S288 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A highly detailed book on Balanchine technique, written by one of his former principal dancers, now a leading teacher at the School of American Ballet. When still a young dancer in the New York City Ballet, Suki Schorer was chosen by 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. Now, she commits to paper the fruit of her twenty-four-year collaboration with Balanchine in a close examination of his technique for teachers, scholars, and advanced students of the ballet. Schorer discusses the crucial work at the barre as well as center work, port de bras, pointework, jumps, partnering, and more. Her recollections of her own tutelage under Balanchine and her brilliant use of scores of his remarks about dancing and dancers lend both authority and intimacy to this extraordinary analysis of Balanchine's legacy to the future of dance. Profusely illustrated throughout with instructional photographs featuring members of the New York City Ballet, this book will serve as an indispensable testament to Balanchine's ideas on technique and performance. From the Preface At Balanchine's instigation I began to teach in the early 1960s while still a member of the corps de ballet . . . One day, as I was adjusting a tendu front in a class of nine-year-olds, Balanchine walked into the studio with Lincoln Kirstein, the school's longtime president. As they left, I heard Mr. B say to Lincoln, "I knew she would get down on the floor and fix feet . . ." I believed in Balanchine. Seeing and then dancing in his ballets made me believe in his aesthetic. Sharing the life of his company and school made me believe in his approach to work and to life in general. In my teaching, in my lectures, in my writing, and in videos on the technique, I have tried to convey not only his aesthetic, but also his beliefs about how to work, how to deal with each other, and how to live . . . My purpose in writing this book is to record what I learned from him about ballet dancing and teaching ballet, insofar as that is possible on paper . . . By helping others deepen their understanding of Balanchine's art, I hope to contribute in a small way to the preservation of his unique and extraordinary legacy.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Since the court dances of 16th-century Europe, ballet's traditions and techniques have been passed on from ballet master to dancer. The inimitable "Mr. B" (George Balanchine) was our century's most elegant ballet master. His legacy includes a company (New York City Ballet), a school (School of American Ballet), and 425 works; Schorer, a member of NYCB from 1959 to 1972, danced and taught for Mr. B. Based on recollections of his teaching and on her experiences as a teacher, the book details work at the barre, work with the upper body, pointe work, jumps, and the art of partnering. An extended essay titled "From the Studio to the Stage" offers personal reflections on dancing. The text is enhanced by Rosegg's crisp photographs of current NYCB company members demonstrating techniques. Although "not a teaching manual or syllabus," this is nonetheless intended for teachers, advanced students, and professional dancers. Highly recommended for performing arts collections and wherever there are readers who know the difference between a pas de chat and a pas de cheval.√ĄCarolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 3
From the Studio to the Stagep. 19
Barre Workp. 49
The Upper Bodyp. 141
Pointework and Related Relevep. 225
Jumpsp. 289
Partneringp. 383
Afterwordp. 417
Technical Cross-referencep. 419