Adam and Sandra are dancers, friends since they were fifteen, now lovers. She is in the corps of the New York City Ballet and has just caught the eye of legendary director George Balanchine. He is an explosively gifted new star who has defected to a rival company. They are in love, both of them passionate and ambitious, but ill-prepared to handle the demands, seductions, and expectations that are visited on them as they come within reach of their dreams.
Since the beginning of his career, Balanchine, now an old man, has meant to create his own extravagantly-staged version of Sleeping Beauty, a dream he has never realised. In Sandra, for years an unnoticed member of the corps, he identifies his last muse and plans to write a Sleeping Beauty for her to star in, his last and greatest ballet. But Balanchine's favour comes at a price, and forces Sandra to decide between two loves. Should she continue her troubled involvement with the first man she has loved and follow his vision of their future? Or should she accept all that the Balanchine offers - the fulfilment of a dream nurtured from childhood, during those endless hours at the barre?