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Serenade: A Balanchine Story

Toni Bentley

Warwick’s presents
Toni Bentley
in conversation with Daphne Merkin

Serenade: A Balanchine Story

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 4:00pm PDT

Serenade: A Balanchine Story
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This is a free virtual event on Facebook Live. Please consider purchasing SERENADE through Warwick's to support the author and our events series.

This is a free virtual event on Facebook Live. RSVP HERE!

On Tuesday, June 7th at 4:00pm PDT Warwick's will host Toni Bentley as she discusses her new book, Serenade: A Balanchine Story, in conversation with Daphne MerkinToni Bentley danced with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet for ten years. She is the author of five books, all named “Notable” by the New York Times, which include Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, Holding On to the Air (the autobiography of Suzanne Farrell, co-authored with Farrell), Costumes by Karinska, Sisters of Salome, and The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir. Bentley is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and her work has appeared in Best American Essays, as well as in many periodicals, among them the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Playboy, The Daily Beast, Vogue and Vanity Fair.

At age seventeen, Toni Bentley was chosen by Balanchine, then in his final years, to join the New York City Ballet. From both backstage and onstage, she carries us through the serendipitous history and physical intricacies and demands of Serenade: its dazzling opening, with seventeen women in a double-diamond pattern; its radical, even jazzy, use of the highly refined language that is ballet; its place in the choreographer's own dramatic story of his immigration to the United States from Soviet Russia; its mystical - and literal - embodiment of the tradition of classical ballet in just thirty-three minutes.

Bentley takes us inside the rarefied, intense, and thrilling world Balanchine created through his lifelong devotion to celebrating and expanding female beauty and strength - a world that, inevitably, passed upon his death. An intimate elegy to grace and loss and to the imprint of a towering artist and his transcendent creation on Bentley's own life, Serenade: A Balanchine Story is a rich narrative by a dynamic artist about the nature of art itself at its most ephemeral and glorious.

Daphne Merkin is a literary critic, memoirist, and novelist. She is the author of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love and This Close to Happy, among other works.

Serenade: A Balanchine Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593316399
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - April 12th, 2022