Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers (Hardcover)

Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers Cover Image

Balancing Acts: Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers (Hardcover)

By Lucy Gray (By (photographer)), Hilton Als (Foreword by)


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There are few jobs more rarefied or as physically and mentally demanding as prima ballerina. And yet, despite very real professional risks, three dancers from the world-class San Francisco Ballet all decided to have children at the pinnacle of their careers. In Balancing Acts, photographer Lucy Gray takes readers on an unforgettable fourteen-year journey with these ballerinas, capturing their remarkable grit and determination.

In dramatic black-and white photography, Gray documents their struggles to balance the demands of family and work—from their tireless preparation in rehearsals and dazzling mastery of craft displayed on stage, to their time spent relaxing at home with family and even while giving birth. In extensive interviews the dancers and their husbands discuss their stories with great candor, providing remarkable insight into the life of a ballerina and the everyday challenges and joys of mothers everywhere.
Lucy Gray is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Independent, Mother Jones, Dance Magazine, and, as well as in exhibitions and projects across the United States
Product Details ISBN: 9781616892548
ISBN-10: 1616892544
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 160
Language: English
"We love this stunning collection of black and whites because it's so much more than a tribute to three amazing women-it's a model and emblem of hope for every woman who still believes they have a choice to make between success and motherhood. If there is one thing Balancing Acts teaches us, it's that the two often go hand-in-hand."

"From ballet studios and stages to living rooms and delivery rooms, Balancing Acts is an unforgettable visual celebration of family, perseverance, and grace." -Goodreads

"A fascinating glimpse of the ordinary amidst the extraordinary." - Photographer's Forum

"Stunning... Gray's ambitious project (all in all, a fourteen year study) succeeded in lending a sense of universality to a deeply specific subject, proving the possibility of thriving simultaneously in one's career and in motherhood. The message is timely, important, and could not have been expressed with more poignancy than in this striking book." -

"Beautiful." - San Jose Mercury News

"Full of beautiful, touching and crazy adorable images."

"In Balancing Acts, Lucy Gray follows three ballerinas over the course of 14 years, as they raise their children while continuing to flourish in their demanding careers. The book is much more than a sentimental celebration. With its intimate photos and illuminating captions, Balancing Acts brings the reader into the nitty-gritty of the ballet world, in which, since the reign of choreographer George Balanchine, female dancers in America have feared that giving birth would end their performing lives." - San Francisco Chronicle

"In shimmering black-and-white, the photographs offer a rare behind-the-scenes look at the lives of professional dancers: they depict them not as impossibly graceful pirouetting fairy princesses, as they might appear on stage, but as fully human, responsible for changing diapers like the rest of us."