This lavishly illustrated and handsomely designed book is as much a tribute to choreographer George Balanchine as it is to the photographer Costas. True, it is Balanchine who gets centre stage, commemorated for the centenary of his birth with no less than 50 of his ballets, covered by quite an impressive host of authors. Dancers like Maria Tallchief, Suzanne Farrell, Sara Leland, Karin von Aroldingen, Violette Verdy, and Peter Martins, who have been instrumental in bringing Balanchine's work to life or proved an inspiration to "Mr. B." at various moments in his cornucopian career, are joined by the fine fleur of Anglo-saxon dance writers of today - Clive Barnes, Robert Greskovic, Robert Gottlieb, George Jackson, among others - to pay homage to his creative genius.
Yet, it is the photographic legacy of Costas - born Costas Cacaroukas in Chios, Greece and a dance photographer for more than 35 years - which turns "Balanchine, Celebrating a Life in Dance" into an irresistible reference work. With more than 370 photographs (color and black and white) showing Balanchine at work or illustrating his ballets as performed by various leading ballet troupes and artists, past and present (New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera, Kirov-Mariinsky, Bolshoi), this book will prove indispensable to any ballet lover.
A most fitting tribute.