Dance: Jewel in Its Proper Setting

In the four decades since George Balanchine left his native Russia, he has never had a theater to compare with the one he grew up in — the grand Maryinsky in old St. Petersburg. With the desperate wit of a tenement boy playing stoop ball, he has fashioned his art to survive its locale — and in New York, where Balanchine has lived and worked for the past 30 years, its locales have been dingy, gloomy, unfriendly or cramped. But when Balanchine's New York City Ballet opened its spring season in the crystal...

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