THREE WHO CAPTURE THE MAGIC New ballerinas from Italy, Russia and France are revelations

Perhaps the most frequently quoted remark about dance in recent years is George Balanchine's maxim, ''Ballet is woman.'' People respond to it heartily: for once, someone on the inside had the guts to state the obvious. Though some of the greatest stars, from Nijinsky to Baryshnikov, have been men, women carry the art form, providing its focus as well as much of its mystery. The appearance of a new, genuine ballerina is one of the exciting events in the theater. Of course she does not materialize overnight. Years of steely determination and self-denial precede the epiphany, and serious dance fans have...

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