Balanchine, George. (1904–1983)
Signed Candid Photograph
Original candid photograph of the choreographer known as the father of American ballet, boldly signed in blue ink with his name alone. "George Balanchine / April / 1944" written to verso in an unknown hand, presumably that of the photographer. In very fine condition. 4.5 x 3.25 inches (11.4 x 8.2 cm.). Signed photographs of Balanchine from this period are uncommon.
Balanchine had begun his association with Ballet Theatre in NY the prior year. In 1944, he choreographed his first original work for them, Waltz Academy (Rieti) as well as ballet sequences for Broadway musical comedy Dream with Music (Warnick). In Los Angeles that year, he created dances for operetta Song of Norway to music by Edvard Grieg using dancers from Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, beginning a two-year association with that company as resident choreographer, his first original work for them being Danses Concertantes (Stravinsky).
From the collection of Paul McMahon, a critic, photographer and artist who worked for more than 13 years touring with Marlene Dietrich as the icon’s stage manager, announcer, dresser, secretary and escort, and later spent 25 years as an arts and entertainment reviewer and photographer with Gay Community News, Esplanade, Tommy’s Connection, The Mirror, Bay Windows and other publications.