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This book contains 250 anecdotes, including these: 1) As a young man, choreographer George Balanchine nearly died and so he believed in living his life each day and not holding anything back. He would tell his dancers, “Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for—for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now.” Throughout his career, including before he became world renowned, he worked with what he had, not complaining about wanting a bigger budget or better dancers. One of the pieces of advice Mr. Balanchine gave over and over was this: “Do it now.” 2) After Merce Cunningham and his dancers had performed at a matinee in London’s Saville Theatre in 1966, Merce Cunningham dancer Carolyn Brown answered the questions of several students who came backstage. One student asked, “Is he serious? I mean, isn’t he just pulling our leg?” Ms. Brown thought about her answer, then replied, “Do you really believe that a man would spend his whole life working this hard, even going into debt, merely to pull your leg?” 3) When she was a young girl, Moira Shearer once darned a pair of ballet shoes while riding in a bus to her ballet lesson. An old man sat next to her and told her of his interest in ballet. He then stood up, handed her a silver thimble, said, “Keep this for luck, my dear,” and disappeared.

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