roman jasinski: a gypsy prince from the ballet russe
Roman Jasinski was one of the great stars of the fabled Ballet Russe. This memoir, gleaned from hours of interviews with Cheryl Forrest, recounts his life story from his beginnings as a young professional who danced for one meal a day to his glory days in Europe, Australia, South America, and the United States. He partnered the greatest ballerinas of the era and worked with the greatest choreographers. Jasinski was, in fact, the lead male dancer in George Balanchine s first company, and the two remained great friends and associates throughout their long lives. Jasinski s memoirs are candid but never cruel, and are placed within the context of world events: Warsaw during World War I; Paris in the twenties and thirties; Berlin during the rise of the Nazis; Spain during the run-up to its Civil War; and Europe, Australia and South America during the chaos of World War II. Roman Jasinski's career spanned the globe. He provides intimate glimpses into the flawed but fabulous people behind Ballet's glamorous facade, and also narrates a love story between Jasinski, the internationally-acclaimed star, and a teenaged corps de ballet dancer who would become one of Oklahoma's five famed Indian Ballerinas. Jasinski's memoir, hailed as the ultimate immigrant success story, contrasts the good life in America with the incredible poverty he left behind, and demonstrates that hard work, courage, compassion, and gratitude are life's true gifts.