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April 11 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

In Person: An Evening With Marina Harss and Alexei Ratmansky


Books & Books


April 11
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
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Books & Books presents…


in conversation with

Alexei Ratmansky


The Boy from Kyiv : Alexei Ratmansky’s Life in Ballet

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $35.00)

Thursday, April 11, 8 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books is thrilled to present an evening with Marina Harss discussing her new book, The Boy from Kyiv : Alexei Ratmansky’s Life in Ballet (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). She will be in conversation with Alexei Ratmansky, subject of her new book and Choreographer of Miami City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake.

Be sure to catch Miami City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake (April 18-May 12), choreographed by Ratmansky.

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and The New Yorker

The Boy from Kyiv is the life story of Alexei Ratmansky, the most celebrated ballet choreographer of our time.

“[A] spirited, engaging biography . . . Ms. Harss analyzes each of Mr. Ratmansky’s ballets, skillfully describing them in such vivid detail that you can almost see them . . . A deeply researched portrait.” —Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal

Alexei Ratmansky is transforming ballet for the twenty-first century. An artist of daring imagination, the choreographer has created breathtakingly original works for the world’s most revered companies. He has fashioned a singular approach to balletic storytelling that bridges the space between narrative and abstraction and heightens ambiguity and surprise on the stage. He has boldly restored great centuries-old ballets to their former glory, combining archival research with his own choreographic genius to retrieve detail and color once lost to the ages. And above all, he is renowned for fusing the Western and Eastern ballet traditions, and for drawing on the visual arts, literature, music, film, and beyond with inspired vim, to forge a style that is vibrant, eclectic, and utterly new: one that promises to leave an indelible mark on this venerable art form.

But before Ratmansky was the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, the resident choreographer at American Ballet Theatre, the artist in residence at New York City Ballet, and generally, as The New Yorker has it, “the most sought-after man in ballet,” he was just a boy from Kyiv, sneaking into the ballet at night, concocting his own juvenile adaptations of novels and stories, and dreaming up new possibilities for bodies in motion.

In The Boy from Kyiv, the first biography of this groundbreaking artist, the celebrated dance writer Marina Harss takes us behind the curtain to reveal Ratmansky’s fascinating life, from his Soviet boyhood through his globe-spanning career. Over a decade in the making, this biography arrives at a pivotal moment in Ratmansky’s journey, one that has seen him painfully and publicly break ties with Russia, the country in which he made his name, in solidarity with his native Ukraine, and take on a new challenge at the storied New York City Ballet. Told with the lyricism, drama, and verve that befit its subject, The Boy from Kyiv is a riveting account of this major artist’s ascent to the peaks of his field, a mesmerizing study of creativity in action, and a triumphant testament to ballet’s enduring vitality.


About the Author:

Marina Harss is a dance writer, journalist, and critic based in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe NationThe GuardianThe Boston GlobeThe Threepenny ReviewDance Magazine, and Fjord Review. The Boy from Kyiv: Alexei Ratmansky’s Life in Ballet is her first book.

About the Moderator:

Alexei Ratmansky, born in St. Petersburg, trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. He’s been a principal dancer with several prestigious ballet companies. As a choreographer, he’s created works for renowned ballet companies worldwide and iconic dancers such as Nina Ananiashvili, Diana Vishneva, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ratmansky’s accolades include Golden Mask and Benois de la Danse awards. He served as the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, receiving acclaim for productions like “The Bright Stream” and “Le Corsaire.” He joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence and has choreographed numerous acclaimed works for them. Ratmansky was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2013 and has garnered further praise, including a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for his collaboration with San Francisco Ballet on Shostakovich Trilogy.