After four years of collaboration with choreographer Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet, Swiss portrait photographer Henry Leutwyler was granted unprecedented backstage access to the Company during the winter of 2012. The resulting book, Ballet, reflects 30 years of his passion for the art form, realized in 30 days of photographing. Leutwyler inhabited the shadows of the stage and became "invisible," recording images of the dancers using nothing more than his 35mm Leica. He was able to explore the performers' immediate space, affording a more abstract portrait of their frenzied existence in an art form predicated on perfection. This clothbound masterpiece is an homage to the gritty world behind the curtain. With impresario Lincoln Kirstein, George Balanchine co-created the New York City Ballet in 1948. What followed is arguably one the most revolutionary periods in ballet history as he redefined the art form, introducing abstract works performed with a signature speed, musicality and precision. Under the leadership of Peter Martins, these are the hallmarks of the Company to this day, and this book—with its candid, impressionistic action shots and exquisite use of color—serves as a beautiful tribute to the New York City Ballet's cultural and artistic presence. This new, slimmer edition of Ballet excludes the section of additional performance documentation.
Born in Switzerland in 1961, Henry Leutwyler moved to Paris in 1985, where he apprenticed with photographer Gilles Tapie and rapidly established himself as an editorial photographer. A decade later, he moved to New York City. Today, Leutwyler's celebrity portraits can be found in the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Esquire Magazine and Time. He has photographed the likes of Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, Tom Wolfe, Rihanna and Martin Scorsese, to name only a few. Leutwyler lives and works in downtown Manhattan.