The Score

Classical, Jazz & Avant


Where do you do your research?

George Balanchine never worked with or for Busby Berkeley. Balanchine did not arrive in the United States until late 1933, the year in which Berkeley really made a name for himself staging the musical numbers for a number of Warner Brothers films (including 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade); Berkeley did not direct films until later in the decade.

Balanchine was under contract with Goldwyn in the late 1930s as a choreographer (Goldwyn Follies, etc.). He worked for many years in theatre, film, opera and ballet before he was able to succeed in establishing (with the help of Lincoln Kirstein) in 1948, a ballet company with real staying power (the New York City Ballet).

Berkeley later moved on to MGM (his work on Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland and Esther Williams films being among his best known) before descending into alcoholism. His reputation was reclaimed in the 1970s, culminating in a return to his Broadway roots in a popular revival of "No, No Nannette."
Myopic Eye, you are absolutely correct. The "former employer" bit was residue from an early draft; it was my mistake and I should have caught that!

I apologize for the error and for my tardy reply to your comment; I only monitor my column's comments a week after publication.

I hope you were able to catch Rubies - it was splendid!