On Stage at the Ballet: My Life as Dancer and Artistic Director
Robert Barnett with Cynthia Crain
Dancer Robert Barnett trained under legendary choreographer Bronislava Nijinska. His professional ballet career was launched when he joined the Colonel de Basil Original Ballet Russe company. In the late 1940s, when George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein formed the New York City Ballet, Barnett was among the first generation of dancers. Under Balanchine’s direction, he rose from corps de ballet to soloist.
In 1958 he became principal dancer and associate artistic director of the Atlanta Ballet—the oldest continuously operating company in America—and served as artistic director for more than thirty years. He was head coach of the American delegation to the International Ballet Competitions in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 and in Moscow in 1981.
Barnett’s autobiography recounts the life of a dancer and artistic director, offers insight into what is involved in pursuing a professional career in dance and provides a history of ballet in America from the early 1920s through 2019.