"Russian Ballet and the East

Russian Ballet
Русский балет и дилемма:
Simone Baron
Dobro Slovo
Pre-Soviet (Imperial)
 Царский блет
Mariinsky Ballet/Kirov Ballet (1740s) in St. Petersburg
Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. P (1738) by
Empress Anna
Bolshoi Ballet (1773) in Moscow
Marius Petipa
Мариус Пятипа
“Father of Classical Ballet” –originally from France
Worked with the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre: Revised
ballets for future generations (ie: Swan Lake, Giselle)
Rose with dancers such as Anna Parlova
Brought first real wave of fame to Russian ballet
Classicism integrated with purity of French and Italian
Michel Fokine
Михаил Фокин
Started at the Vaganova Ballet Academy
Debuted at Mariinsky Ballet, Petipa’s Paquita
Stereotypical ballet traditions (Virtuoso ballet) were outdated
No more miming, outdated costumes
Pointe shoes, arm/torso experimentation
Soviet Ballet
 Советский балет
Truly repressed: the Soviet Regime closed down or
renamed many of the theaters and academies
Example: Bright Stream (Shostakovich; Lopukhov 1935)
How this affected composers, choreographers, ballerinas
Bolshoi became a state-subsidized company – just like the
renamed Kirov.
Soviet Ballet
 Советский балет и Сталин
Took the art out, rather used for propaganda
Similar to other forms of art (ex: architecture)
Stalin in the eyes of the arts
“The proletariat needs ornament, decoration, adornment.”
Olga Lepishinskaya
Ольга Лепесчинская
Stalin’s favorite ballerina
One of the most revered dancers of the Bolshoi
Always danced for the Red Army
Known as and elected as a member of the Communist Party
All aspects of Soviet artistic culture integrated into the
Soviet regime
Post-Soviet (Russian) Ballet
 Россия сегодня
Globalized integration of choreography and technique
Now, American and Russian ballerinas can explore each
other’s methods of dance without the restrictions of
The art form is independent of political influence
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Михаил Барышников
While still in Russia, most celebrated dancer worldwide
While in Canada, request political asylum, never to return to
Moved to United States in 1974
Worked with Balanchine in New York City Ballet
Artistic director of American Ballet Theater (1980)
George Balanchine
 Георгий Баланчин
1934: Arrived in the United States
New York City School of American Ballet
His company (American Ballet, became the house company for the

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