Cecil Beaton’s recollections of the ballet, set down in this sparkling personal memoir in his pungent and highly individual prose, comences when, as a boy during World War I, he admired the precision drill of the ‘Palace Girls’ in London. From then on much of Beaton’s life and activities have centered on dances and dancing, and he has worked intimately – as designer, photographer, collaborator, and enthusiastic connoisseur – with all the great figurres of the ballet, Diaghileff, Lifar, Lopokova, Christian Berard, Balanchine, Markova, Margot Fonteyn, Frederick Ashton, Massine, all of whom are here deftly characterized. Over 100 of Beaton’s superb photographs are included in this book – portraits of star dancers, close-ups, scenes of ballet in action, and scenes behind the scenes. In addition the text is embellished with dozens of drawings from his sketchbooks, and there is an enchanting title page.
Condition: Very Good