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Holding on to the Air: An Autobiography (Englisch) Taschenbuch – September 2002

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"Absolutely spellbinding: Ballerina Farrell's autobiography is also the story of one of the greatest artistic collaborations in dance....An uplifting, splendid memoir." - Kirkus Reviews "An extraordinarily moving story." - New York Times Book Review "Farrell's story is not only that of a great dancer but of a great star....this book is important. The subject is great, the views of Balanchine are real and unique." - Washington Post Book World


Suzanne Farrell, world-renowned ballerina, was one of George Balanchine's most celebrated muses and remains a legendary figure in the ballet world. This memoir, first published in 1990 and reissued with a new preface by the author, recounts Farrell's transformation from a young girl in Ohio dreaming of greatness to the realization of that dream on stages all over the world. One third of her repertory of more than 100 ballets were composed expressly for her by such notable choreographers as Balanchine, Jermome Robbins and Maurice Bejart. In her memoir, Farrell recalls career, professional and personal attachments, and their attendant controversies with a frankness and common sense.


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Amazon.com: 22 Rezensionen
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Holding on to the Air captivates and intrigues the reader. 9. September 1999
Von Lana D'Amico (lanabean@hotmail.com) - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
A must read for ballet lovers, Holding on the Air is beautifully and honestly written by Suzanne Farrell, legendary ballerina of the New York City Ballet. The reader is taken from Miss Farrell's early days as Suzanne "Ficker," ballet student, to Suzanne Farrell, ballet star. She writes about her early hardship at NYCB, her marriage, her fame, and her somewhat loving and complicated relationship with choreographer and ballet master George Balanchine. Balanchine once told Farrell to think of "holding on to the air" in order to do a particular balance. For me, the title of her book signifies her holding on to the air that gave her dancing life. It signifies holding on to memories, holding on to her artistry, and for using her air to inspire so many younger dancers. Truly a candid and telling story of America's premiere ballerina.
30 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von RALPH PETERS - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
After reading (or, in my case, rereading) Suzanne Farrell's wonderful book, one feels a tremendous debt of gratitude. It isn't just that her life and views on dance and art are fascinating, though that is certainly true. It's the tremendous sense of generosity and compassion that flow from these pages. I remember when I first read her mother's words to her young daughters, that if they had "the arts in their life they would never be lonely", that I quietly marked the page, closed the book, and wept appreciatively. This was the first time I had heard these words expressed by anyone and it confirmed the feelings I've had since being very young.
Many may find the Balanchine references the definitive biography of this section of his life, but there is so much more to this glorious volume, gratefully back in print from the University of Florida. This paperback edition is very well-bound, pages are highest quality; the price may seem a tad high, but is in truth worth more than pricier hardcovers. This, along with the DVD of Farrell's exquisite "Elusive Muse" documentary make an outstanding gift idea for young people uncertain of how to attain their dreams. Ms. Farrell's life is certainly a great inspiration.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
I have the older version! 23. November 2009
Von Sylviastel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
First, I have the 1990 version of her autobiography. While it is interested, a lot has happened to Suzanne Farrell since 1990. She was awarded the National Medal of the Arts and inducted as one of the five Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C. Suzanne Farrell is a classically trained ballerina who has become a force in American ballet. Her relationship with George Ballanchine is fascinating. She was one of his beloved muses.

At 15 years old, she moved with her divorced mother and sister to New York City to attend the prestigious ballet school founded by George Ballanchine. Her life would never be the same. While reading her autobiography, I found her intriguing and likable and approachable. She's not famous enough to be mobbed unless you are in the ballet world.

Even then, Suzanne Farrell is quite generous and kind to her svengali, George Balanchine. They had an unusual relationship. She probably considered him more as the surrogate father figure than a possible lover. George was not only enamored with the youthful Suzanne but quite possessive of her. The relationship between George and Suzanne is both fascinating and disturbing maybe because of the age difference or his five marriages. Suzanne was a bit naive but she was capable of knowing George's feelings towards her than the other dancers in the company. Still it's quite a powerful read and Suzanne's rebellion and independence is quite interesting particularly her relationship with George or Mr. B. as she refers him in the book.

No matter what happened in this complex relationship, she is rather a kind individual with a generous heart and soul and a conscience. Her relationship with George was complicated, let's just leave it to that.

This book is also a dance history book of the ballet rise in America as well. Suzanne Farrell chronicles the difficulties of being a ballerina even one of the most successful. She's not drowning in money. Rather, she lives a lot more modestly. Of dance, ballet is a passionate career filled with sacrifices, pain, stress, and competition. Ballerinas like Suzanne must always look the part. Of course, the dances have choreographed moves like actors learning Shakespearean lines in iambic pentameter. She writes about the being a dancer in today's world.

I went to the ballet at Lincoln Center months ago and how many people go to the ballet, opera, or symphony. Not many as they would like to fit those seats. Ballet is the source of many great Russian figure skaters and even Torvill and Dean. The ballet is to dance like Shakespeare to theatre and opera to music.

I worry about the future of ballet, opera, and theatre in our society. We seem to have lost a greater need to be entertained in our theatres. In fact, we are losing in the arts world. The arts world can't compete with today's technology but we don't need it too. We need to have the ballet, opera, and theatre to be both entertained and enlightened in our lives.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very special.... you'll be touched by this story 16. August 2006
Von Ingrid Roberts - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I stumbled across this book by accident almost a year ago and have been touched by it ever since. I'm not sure that I can explain the specialness of this of this story but it feels like a real life fairy tale. You can feel Ms. Farrell's emotions and passion of what it must have been like for her to work with her teacher, George Balanchine. What a dynamic duo they must have been together. I would recommend this book to everyone, whether you have been exposed to ballet or not, as a special glimpse into a very public but very private life. Truly a lovely story.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
It was incredibly touching 27. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the life of this incredible Balanchine ballerina. The story was so touching and I cried several times. It is a must for any dancer or anyone with dreams.
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