Author Victoria Tennant joins Wendy Whelan, a dancer in New York City Ballet for more than 30 years, to discuss her new book Irina Baronova and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.
This illustrated history tells the tale of the rise of modern ballet and its popularity through the life story of one of ballet’s most glamorous stars, Irina Baronova. Baronova, Tennant’s mother, was chosen by the great George Ballanchine at the age of thirteen to join the Ballets Russes, where she danced the lead in Swan Lake.
Ballets Russes is widely regarded as the most influential ballet company of the 20th century in part because it promoted ground-breaking artistic collaborations among young choreographers, composers, designers and dancers, all at the forefront of their several fields. George Balanchine got his start as a choreographer for Ballet Russes and would go on to start the New York City Ballet where Wendy Whelan became prima ballerina.