Three Prima Ballerinas Becoming Mothers
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.
- Foreword by the New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als, author of the bestselling White Girls
- An intimate behind-the-scenes view of the lives of ballerinas in one of the world's premier companies
- An epilogue presents selected photographs of a fourth prima ballerina, Lorena Feijoo, who gave birth in 2012 and continues to perform with the San Francisco Ballet
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.
San Francisco Chronicle
In Balancing Acts, Lucy Gray follows three ballerinas over the course of 15 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.