Holly Brubach writes on Ballerina Tanaquil Le ClercqA conversation with Tanaquil Le Clercq, fourth wife of choreographer George Balanchine and a great ballerina whose career was cut short by polio, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the New York City Ballet’s opening night: “Muse Interrupted,” The New York Times Magazine, November 22, 1999

Holly Brubach writes on choreographer George BalanchineMy diary during the making of a two-hour PBS documentary on George Balanchine’s life and work, the year after he died, recounting our exhaustive search for film and video footage, including the discovery of performances and choreography presumed lost: “In Search of Balanchine,” Ballet News, May 1984

Polaris An appreciation of the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s 1981 spring season and of Taylor’s astonishing originality as a choreographer: “Moving Pictures,” The Atlantic, September 1981

Margot Fonteyn & Rudolf Nureyev, The Sleeping BeautyA scene-by-scene analysis of Tchaikovsky’s score for “The Sleeping Beauty” as a blueprint for the Royal Ballet’s sublime production, with choreography that captures myriad insights into human nature: “A Classic Beauty,” The Atlantic, December 1981

Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyAn examination of George Balanchine’s “Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2” and his use of dance to vary the music and sustain our interest in it, transforming a good but by no means great concerto into a ballet masterpiece: “Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky,” The Atlantic, June 1981

bujones3An interview with Fernando Bujones and an appraisal of his dancing, his braggadocio in the shadow of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s defection, and his preparation for his roles: “In First Position?“, Ballet News, October 1980

Isadora Duncan on stageA thumbnail tribute to Isadora Duncan, whose appetite for movement and life defied the conventions  of her era and built a bridge to modernism: “Rite of Spring,” F Magazine, spring 2008


An interview with pianist Leon Fleisher, who recovered the use of his right hand after a 30-year-long neurological disorder: “The Man for Whom Never Was Never an Option,” The New York Times, June 10, 2007


pronto-soccorso-2Emergency surgery in Milan prompts some thoughts on how cultural differences underpin differences in medical treatment: “Dislocation, Italian Style,” New York Times, July 18, 2014

luxembourg_garden_chairsA recollection of a move to Paris at age 34, as a self-prescribed course of treatment for a broken heart (note to the lovelorn: it worked): “In Pursuit of Happiness,” Gourmet, September 2008

2-parisian-women-at-cafeThe American insistence on comfort takes on unintended connotations in Paris, where dressing well is a show of respect for others and an acknowledgment that we’re all participants in the theater of the street: “Landscape with Figures,” The New Yorker, April 30, 1990


th1FIVD1QYAn appreciation of Orhan Pamuk’s “The Museum of Innocence” and an interview with the novelist about the emotion we invest in objects and the museum he created in Istanbul to memorialize moments in the lives of his characters: “The Right Stuff: Orhan Pamuk,” The New York Times T Magazine, October 4, 2012

A review of “Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton,” by Diane Wood Middlebrook, a biography of a jazz musician born a woman, who lived as a man: “Swing Time,” The New York Times Book Review, June 28, 1998

An interview with Ian McEwan regarding “Saturday,” his novel set in post-9/11 London: “Ian McEwan’s War Zone,” Vanity Fair, April 2005

A consideration of two books about the Virgin Mary, written from opposing points of view–“Full of Grace: Encountering Mary in Faith, Art and Life,” by Judith Dupré, and “Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary,” by Marina Warner: “Immaculate Perception,” The New York Times T Magazine, December 5, 2010

skeleton-x3Why can’t women take up space? A lament for a culture in which dieting is normal and anorexia is an occupational hazard, inspired by two books–“Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normality of Hating Your Body,” by Courtney E. Martin, and “The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa,” by Hilde Bruch: “Starved to Perfection,” The New York Times, April 17, 2007

File_2099, 3/23/09, 2:40 PM, 16C, 5948x7952 (50+47), 100%, Custom, 1/25 s, R17.6, G0.2, B27.3What would Andy Warhol say? Imagined conversations with the art world’s favorite oracle, in two books–“Theft Is Vision,” by Bob Nickas, and “Warhol’s Dream,” by Saul Anton: “15 Going on 50,” The New York Times, December 2, 2007

alexander-and-his-wife-tatiana-1943Considering Francine du Plessix Gray’s “Them: A Memoir of Parents”–hers being Tatiana and Alexander Liberman, elegant and urbane Russian emigrés who ruled New  York’s celebrity circles by virtue of his position as editorial director of the Condé Nast magazines (where I worked for him): “The Power Couple,” The New York Times Book Review, May 29, 2005.

bemelmans_08_self_01-thumb-500x733-7007Discovering Ludwig Bemelmans, the man behind Madeleine, who wrote of his travels and his career in the hotel business: “Bemelmans Bar, the Namesake,” The New York Times, December 2, 2008

the_manhattan_cocktailThe literature of getting hammered and getting sober, including “The Modern Drunkard: A Handbook for Drinking in the 21st Century,” by Frank Kelly Rich, and classics of the genre: “How Dry I Am,” The New York Times, March 12, 2006


A visit with Charlotte Perriand, at age 93, who collaborated early in her career with Le Corbusier, and her post-mortem on modernism, its achievements and its failures: “The Rediscovered Modernist,” The New York Times Magazine, December 15, 1996

An interview with Jil Sander on her historic house in Hamburg, with interiors designed by Renzo Mongiardino; her starkly minimal studio, with gallery space for displaying her art collection; and her lush formal gardens: “Double Vision,” The New York Times T Magazine, October 2, 2009

An interview with designer Alexander Wang and Ryan Korban, his decorator, and a tour of Wang’s new Tribeca loft, the author’s former home, which she sold to him in 2010: “Your Place or Mine?,” W Magazine, May 2011.

le-corbusierA new understanding of Le Corbusier, the mythic reformer who sounded the call to modernism, thanks to two books–“Le Corbusier Le Grand” and Nicholas Fox Weber’s “Le Corbusier: A Life:” “Resident Genius,” The New York Times, September 25, 2008

castaing3Remembering Madeleine Castaing, whose anonymous shop became a favorite landmark of my Paris neighborhood, with its rooms reimagined  in the style of her childhood–an oasis of idiosyncratic, late 19th-century charm: A Profile of Madeleine Castaing, HG, July 1993

4-seasons-grillFarewell to The Four Seasons, a peculiarly New York institution, where fine dining met democracy: “A Most American Experience,”The New York Times, July 15, 2016


An assessmenet of Yves Saint Laurent, the impact of the style that he created and the brand as it continues under the direction of Stefano Pilati: “Man with a Mission,” W Magazine, February 2011

thAMXB6PBMAn anthropological tour of beaches in the New York City vicinity and the unwritten code that determines differences in style from one to the next, evident in the bathing suits on parade: “On the Beach,” The New Yorker, September 2, 1991

Le Theatre de la ModeThe story of “Le Theatre de la Mode,” a group of dolls made to promote Parisian fashions in the aftermath of World War II. Their goodwill tour ended in Goldendale, Washington, and, without passage home, they languished there until their “rediscovery” some 40 years later: “Survivors,” The New Yorker, August 27, 1990

thWPWMZ4X2A backstage account of the Paris fall/winter 1991 collections and the zigzag career path of Kristen McMenamy, whose oddball appeal set her apart in a parade of perfect supermodel faces: “The Eye of the Beholder,” The New Yorker, June 10, 1991

Babs-SimpsonA conversation with Babs Simpson, former Vogue fashion stylist, longtime friend, and inspiration, who in 2013 turned 100: “Babs Simpson, Bon Viveur,” S/Style & Fashion Magazine, April 2012

susanne-bartsch-zaldyA visit with Susanne Bartsch, club hostess and den mother to drag queens, whose Copacabana nights in New York brought together uptown socialites, downtown artists, celebrities, fashion designers, and assorted
onlookers: “The Life of the Party,” The New Yorker, February 5, 1991


A profile of Dick LeBeau, Defensive Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers: “After The Zone Blitz, the Deadpan Defense,” The New York Times, January 8, 2009

A profile of Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman Dan Rooney on the eve of Super Bowl XLIII: “Steelers Owner Dan Rooney Turns His Business into a Family,” The New York Times, January 26, 2009

An account of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ anticipation as they awaited their championship rings for Super Bowl XLIII and, finally, the rings’ arrival: Steelers Aren’t Flashy, but Their Rings Are, The New York Times, June 10, 2009

A brief consideration of football players’ success on “Dancing with the Stars” and why it’s not surprising: Why Are NFL Players Such Good Dancers?, The New York Times, September 14, 2008

Roger-Federer[1]A critical assessment of Roger Federer’s monogram–a personal logo that positions him for history as the equal of Nike’s other “monogrammed” athlete, Tiger Woods: The Main Characters of Tennis, and Style, the New York Times, August 29, 2009


In defense of the movie musical, now allegedly in need of reinvention, and those of us who constitute its audience, with a capacity for identifying with characters we see on screen limited to those who sing and dance no better than we do: “Escaping to La La Land, Then and Now,” The New York Times, February 25, 2017 

A consideration of Humphrey Bogart’s singular career and Stefan Kanfer’s biography, “Tough Without a Gun: The Extraordinary Life and Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart”: “Here’s Looking at Him,” New York Times Book Review, February 4, 2011

lansbury-gentlewoman-cover photo only3A conversation with Angela Lansbury, whose remarkable range, hard work, and level head have earned her the admiration of her peers and her audiences, including many women heading into life’s later stages, who find in her a role model: “Angela Lansbury,” The Gentlewoman, Autumn and Winter 2012

An interview with David Lynch on the occasion of “The Air Is on Fire,” an exhibition of his drawings at the Fondation Cartier, in Paris: “A Moving Canvas,” The New York Times T Magazine, February 25, 2007


images2RH23VC9Prompted by Joe Gibbs’s desultory remorse after Cowboys fans took offense to his calling them ugly, a series of hypothetical retractions, apologies, and expressions of concern for other people’s feelings on the part of NFL players and coaches: “More Offensive Breakdowns,” The New York Times Op-Ed, August 27, 2005

th2X62WS8CAn answer to ubiquitous ads for the iPhone and its burgeoning catalogue of ingenious apps, these “created” to cater to widespread economic anxiety after the 2008 crash: “iPanic: Helping you deal with the loss of your life savings, one app at a time,” New York Times Op-Ed, June 7, 2009


Remembering Leo Lerman, editor, writer, and friend of the literati and the glitterati: “Lives Well Lived: Leo Lerman, A Movable Salon,” The New York Times, January 1, 1995

A grown daughter takes her parents to George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker” and her father, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, transcends his confusion to follow the dancing: “The Miracle of ‘The Nutcracker,” December 25, 2002