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Grant number like: FZ-256426-17

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Jennifer Homans
New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 8/31/2018

A Biography of Choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983)

Preparation of a book-length biography of choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983), from his earliest years in Imperial Russia to his death in New York City.

George Balanchine was perhaps the greatest choreographer of the 20th century. Born in Russia in 1904, he experienced the upheavals of World War One, the Russian Revolution, exile, World War Two and the cultural Cold War; he was part of the Russian modernist moment, a key player in Paris in the 1920s, and in New York he revolutionized ballet, pressing it to the forefront of culture and making it a serious—and popular—American art. Like his contemporaries Picasso, Stravinsky, and Auden, Balanchine’s life spanned the 20th century, and he captured something of its history and ideas in his dances. I am writing a critical biography of Balanchine. If I succeed, I will have captured something of Balanchine’s world, his inner life, and the power of his dances. I will also have written a history of 20th century modernism.