Part biography and part cultural history, this superb dual biography chronicles the early lives of famed choreographer George Balanchine and his close childhood friend, the extraordinary ballerina Liidia (Lidochka) Ivanova. The author of Where She Danced, Elizabeth Kendall here sheds new light on a crucial point in the history of ballet, tracing the lives and friendship of these two dancers from years just before the 1917 Russian Revolution to Ivanova's mysterious death in 1924—just days before she and Balanchine had planned to escape Russia together.
"The book reads like a detective novel, but has pages of luminous writing about the choreographer and his ballet."—Dance Magazine
"Elizabeth Kendall has unearthed the world of Balanchine's childhood. For this alone we owe her a great debt.... Her book is not only a portrait of Balanchine's youth, it is a portrait of Russia in collapse—of the world that was dying as Balanchine was coming of age."—NYReview of Books