Friday, May 15, 2009

The Lavender Leotard

The Lavender Leotard, or Going a Lot to the New York City Ballet is an interesting Gorey title because it is created for a very specific audience. First published in Playbill in the spring of 1970 in a slightly different form, this book can be enjoyed by anyone with casual interest in ballet, but is really a treat for the serious ballet buff.

Published by Gotham Book Mart in 1973 in an edition of 1000 copies in wrappers (not issued signed or numbered), this book is notable for having the cover of each copy hand colored by Mr. Gorey. In the book, it is noted that a dance outfit has a tutu that doesn't quite match the rest of the costume, so Mr. Gorey watercolored the outfit so it would not match. The copy I am showing has been signed by Mr. Gorey and inscribed to me by him.

This title was also published in a slipcased, hardcover, signed, limited edition of 100 numbered and 26 lettered copies. Bound in fuchsia cloth with a pasted-on front and rear cover labels, each copy of this edition also features the hand colored tutu. I am showing copy #H/26.

This book was published as a 50th anniversary tribute to the New York City Ballet, and is one long inside joke about the dances and dancers at the ballet. I have found many references to ballets, costumes and dancers in biographies and movies from the 1940's, 50's and 60's that will remind me of situations referred to in this volume, and when I check, they are always in this book.

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