Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
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Balanchine's Only "Never"

The one thing George Balanchine would never do was give up.
          Becoming renowned throughout the performing arts world at age 24 didn't protect Balanchine from being out of a job at age 29. (Find out why in my book.)
          Becoming the toast of Broadway during the 1930s via such hits as On Your Toes and I Married an Angel didn't open doors to recognition in ballet  during the 1940s. Nor did it protect him from nasty treatment under the pens of ballet critics.
          So how did the doors of recognition open? He opened them.
          During the 1940s, he parsed his money to buy bus tickets and train tickets and plane tickets, to pay for phone calls and mailings, and he traversed the United States, finding places to choreograph. He had parties and gatherings for his friends in the arts world. He would get a passel of musicians into his apartment and play through concertos and ballets and symphonies for the joy of it. He set up projects that he pursued as if they were sheer fun instead of barriers between solvency and insolvency. He took a job for two years with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, a draining routine of one-night stands and late-night rehearsals, and restored the company's technique and choreographic inventiveness. He created outlets for people to contribute their talents, proposing endless projects, with realistic knowledge of costs and materials to undergird his production plans.
          By the time Lincoln Kirstein came home from Europe after World War II, Balanchine had woven for himself a national network of friends and contacts -- and a platform on which he eventually built the New York City Ballet.

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