He’d say, “Let’s all go to the theater and have a class… .” That was Balanchine’s idea of a perfect schedule. He loved to teach dancers. He loved dancing, and he wanted it to be so wonderful; how you get it to be wonderful is to train people to do it.—Diana Adams, in I Remember Balanchine

In the 604 pages of I Remember Balanchine, Francis Mason’s interviews with eighty-five people close to the late ballet master of the New York City Ballet, hardly a page goes by without a reference to Balanchine the teacher. Questions of who he taught, what he taught, when, where, and why he taught are answered in tones of relish, reverence, and even resentment, but the picture is always consistent. Or, as one dancer said, “persistent … He just started from the beginning every time.” True,...

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