Download Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in by Akim Volynsky, Prof. Stanley J. Rabinowitz PDF

By Akim Volynsky, Prof. Stanley J. Rabinowitz

Akim Volynsky was once a Russian literary critic, journalist, and artwork historian who grew to become Saint Petersburg’s liveliest and such a lot prolific ballet critic within the early a part of the 20 th century. This booklet, the 1st English version of his provocative and influential writings, offers a amazing examine existence contained in the global of Russian ballet at a very important period in its history.

Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and interprets 40 of Volynsky’s articles—vivid, eyewitness money owed that flicker with information about the careers and personalities of such dance luminaries as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, and George Balanchine, at the moment a tender dancer within the Maryinsky corporation whose prepared musical feel and inventive interpretive strength Volynsky was once one of many first to acknowledge. Rabinowitz additionally interprets Volynsky’s magnum opus, The e-book of Exaltations, an complex meditation on classical dance method that's instantaneously a primer and an ideological treatise. all through his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his severe advent, which units Volynsky’s existence and paintings opposed to the backdrop of the central highbrow currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the religious and airy characteristics of ballet.

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Additional resources for Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925

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Clear lines, clean edges, and precise rhythms; a severe and exact style that moves straight upward to the vertical—all of this assumed mystical dimensions for Volynsky and reflected a mind-set deeply influenced by the symbolist outlook. Such dance, which the Russian ballet needed constantly to achieve, reflected the striving of the heroic will toward heavenly beauty and moral perfection: it plumbed the mysteries of the ancient past to which modernity is still tied. All this in turn allowed for the possibility onstage of miracle—the miracle of transforming the merely mortal and human into the eternal and divine.

Volynsky,’’ suggests Gaevsky, ‘‘to a large extent created that literary as well as professional language in which ballet criticism began to expound. ’’∂≥ Again and again the encyclopedist Volynsky demonstrates an interest in the semantics and etymology of words, underscoring the profound (though unexpected) interconnectedness between the terminological and the philosophical, philology and aesthetics. Words like apperception and contraposto, not to mention the Romance roots of so many balletic terms or the Greek origins of numerous theatrical expressions (hyporchema, orchestra ), achieve an almost spellbinding e√ect, though none approaches the incantatory repetitiveness and associative breadth of the book’s title, the virtually untranslatable likovanie.

Much of my thinking about Volynsky as a ballet critic has been inspired by Gaevsky’s pioneering work, first in ‘‘Akim Volynskii i peterburgskii balet,’’ his introduction to xl 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Introduction the recent republication of The Book of Exaltations (Kniga Likovanii [Moscow: Artist. Rezhiser. Teatr, 1992]), 5–22, and later in his expanded version of this work in the chapter from Dom Petipa, ‘‘Kniga Likovanii Akima Volynskogo,’’ 151–172. Dobrovol’skaia, Volynskii: Stat’i, 21.

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