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Balanchine A Ballet Master There are many great talents in the world of dance Diagilev Fokine and Petipa all influenced the development of classical ballet but there is one man whose talent surpassed everyone Balanchine was a man who overcame many odds to become greater than his predecessors Born Georgi Melitonovich Balanchivadze in 1904 Balanchine was part of a musical family Aloff His father was a musician and composer his brother a pianist and sister a violinist Even with all the music in his home Balanchine believed he would become one of the Tsars cadets Balanchine 515 His mother had another idea One day as his mother was visiting the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg she decided that her son should audition to become a student It was August and he had a chance for a free education Balanchine would receive an eight year course of ballet drama and music There were many hopefuls but only the best were chosen At his audition there were about fifty boys and only seven or eight openings in the school Balanchine was among those selected and began his dance educations at the age of nine George Balanchine moved to the famous Theater Street in St Petersburg to train at the Imperial Ballet School He lived with all the other students who called him rat because of his small and thin appearance Balanchine 516 At first he did not think he was in the right place He even ran away to his aunts house nearby It was not until his first performance at the Maryinsky theatre that he found real joy in his dancing At the Imperial School students would begin performing on stage in their second year The first production in which Balanchine participated was Sleeping Beauty It was at that moment during his first performance at the Maryinsky that he learned the theater would change his life Balanchine 516 Productions at the Maryinsky were opulent as
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