As an associate editor at Emily Bestler Books, I have a wonderful list of authors, all of whom I adore. They're moms, and former military, and screenwriters, and Australians, and stay-at-home dads. They live in cities and in the country; they are male and female; they're tall and short and in-between.
The history of Western society's obsession with women's looks can be traced through the often peculiar, but revealing, history of gender representation on the ballet stage. Ballet's twin aesthetic of ethereal beauty and youthful sexual allure -- with an idealized view of women at the focal point -- has been achieved over centuries of restrictive body ideals and a monastic discipline.
Balanchine's chivalrous comportment with Farrell was a memorable treat for audiences in 1965. Fifty years later, former NYCB principal dancer Wendy Whelan made the marvelous and somewhat offbeat decision to launch her post-ballet career squired not by male cohorts, but by a roster of well-selected choreographers dancing in their own creations.