Alexandra Danilova was the first of George Balanchine's lifetime of muses. Balanchine created 18 ballets for her, the first of which was 1921's "Poeme." The partially spoken-word piece was one of the first "modern ballets" -- and positioned Danilova as the first of the "modern" ballerinas.
In the '70s and early '80s, ballet in America became, fleetingly, a pinnacle of popularized glamor. The blinding star of this bright moment was Mikhail Baryshnikov, known even to philistines as the charismatic Misha. He swiftly became the saving grace of ballet's lagging box office after critic Clive
Although too erratic in technique to earn the distinction of virtuoso, Rudolf Nureyev still took a place among the most brilliant dancers in history. His flamboyance and charisma garnered him a truly massive audience; it's possible that his dancing has been seen by more people than that of any other