From the artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and former principal dancer for the New York City Ballet comes an unforgettable memoir about one artist’s journey from boyhood to ballet.
Peter’s story starts in the pastoral and privileged town of Bedford, New York: a rare enclave 40 miles north of New York City where private schools, country clubs, and families hold their own rules and secrets. Within the town, views of race, morality, and sexuality are unspoken yet evident. Meanwhile, at home, Peter and his family are left to grapple with his father’s alcoholism and untimely death.
As a young boy finding his way, Peter soon turns to ballet. Ultimately his passion becomes a beacon, leading him to work at the New York City Ballet as a teenager, living on his own while discovering the pitfalls and pleasures Manhattan has to offer.
Throughout Peter’s deeply personal work, you’ll meet Hattie Lindsay, Peter’s caregiver, whose love for Peter matches her disdain for Henry, the family dog. You’ll step onto the club house floor during ballroom dancing lessons in Bedford, into the studios of the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, and onto the stage in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker as Peter performs the title role of the Nutcracker Prince.
For all the laughter these stories offer, gravity is everywhere. Moments by Balanchine’s hospital bedside, or in the AIDS-ravaged ward at Columbia-Presbyterian hospital as a loved one’s life passes away are told with painful honesty and raw hurt. Peter’s journey takes us to the start of a storied career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet and leaves us with insights into the unique path of an artist and individual shaped by environment, circumstance, and family.
From Boyhood to Nutcracker Prince: How One Artist Carved a Star-Studded Path to be the Principal Dancer for the New York City Ballet
We are giving away 15 Advanced Reader Copies of Illusions of Camelot! The fans of David Hallberg's A Body of Work and Misty Copeland's Life in Motion will be captivated by Peter's ambition, candor, and insight into how he became one of the world's most iconic ballet dancers.
Peter Boal is the artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where he also serves as director of the PNB School. Prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest, Peter was a Principal dancer with New York City Ballet and a faculty member for School of American Ballet. Illusions of Camelot is his first book.
Beaufort Books is an independent publisher based in New York City. Beaufort publishes a mix of non-fiction and fiction titles, with about 15–20 new titles each year. Beaufort has published four New York Times bestsellers since 2007.