Music: Ballet's Fundamentalist

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When ballet connoisseurs start talking about the esthetics of their subject, the average citizen beats his way out of the pink-tinted fog to the nearest exit. George Balanchine, the most effective maker of ballets now living, has a refreshingly realistic way of getting down to esthetic fundamentals.

"Ballet is important and significant—yes," he says. "But first of all, it is a pleasure. No one would enjoy watching a group of dancers jump about the stage aimlessly, no matter how well they jumped. After all, a pig can jump—but who wants to see a...

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