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Bentley takes us inside the rarefied, intense, and thrilling world Balanchine created through his lifelong devotion to celebrating and expanding female beauty and strength—a world that, inevitably, passed upon his death. An intimate elegy to grace and loss and to the imprint of a towering artist and his transcendent creation on Bentley’s own life, Serenade: A Balanchine Story is a rich narrative by a dynamic artist about the nature of art itself at its most ephemeral and glorious.
Toni Bentley danced with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet for ten years. She is the author of five books, all named “Notable” by the New York Times, which include Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, Holding On to the Air (the autobiography of Suzanne Farrell, co-authored with Farrell), Costumes by Karinska, Sisters of Salome, and The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir. Bentley is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and her work has appeared in Best American Essays, as well as in many periodicals, among them the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Playboy, The Daily Beast, Vogue, and Vanity Fair.
Bentley will be in conversation with Bentley will be in conversation with poet and editor Deborah Garrison, who earned a BA at Brown University and an MA in literature at New York University. She is the author of the poetry collections The Second Child: Poems and A Working Girl Can’t Win: And Other Poems. Garrison has edited fiction and nonfiction for the New Yorker, poetry for the Random House imprint Alfred A. Knopf, and fiction and nonfiction for the Random House imprint Pantheon. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.