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The Lavender Leotard Book - GoreyStore

The Lavender Leotard Book

Item # 24433
In Stock: Ships the Next Business Day

Appearing first in the Spring 1970 edition of Playbill, Edward Gorey's The Lavender Leotart: or, Going a lot to the New York City Ballet was first published as a tribute the 50th Anniversary of the New York City Ballet.

"Gorey works with a delicate, nervous line. In Lavender Leotard he creates pages of sensitive, helpless bodies with their own unballetic grace. These frail people have no physical clout whatsoever; they seem held together only by their extreme raffinesse. It's interesting to compare the delicacy and frailty of The Lavender Leotard to the finely etched, but chunkily muscled dancers in The Gilded Bat...Gorey recreates a world. Caricaturist not of personalities, but of events and ambiances, he chronicles the company's distinctive foibles, faults which have somehow become endearing to those of us who've seen the New York City Ballet through its lean years as well as the fat. There is its inability to cope with costumes and scenery, beginning with the poverty-stricken leotard and blue cyclorama days, when the company was rich only in aesthetic--'Don't you feel the whole idea of sets and costumes is vulgar?'

Deadpan, Gorey notes the chronic and incredible misuse of scenery: the Novice, dressed in her intestinal thing, with Nora's wet-locked hairdo, says to the G-stringed male bug she is about, somewhat reluctantly, to devour: 'Just once we could use the Serenade costumes and the backdrop from Lilac Garden.'
Of course, Gorey can't describe--only the actual experience could--just how beautiful and exciting those fifty seasons were. But he details everything around the beauty and excitement, which is enough to evoke it again for each of us, in the mind's eye, the gut, the secret heart, or wherever one's most vivid, passionate, lyric, and lavender images are stored."

--Tobi Tobias, "Balletgorey," Dance Magazine January 1974

4-1/2 x 6 inches, Paperback 32 pages

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