By Akim Volynsky, Prof. Stanley J. Rabinowitz
Akim Volynsky was once a Russian literary critic, journalist, and artwork historian who turned Saint Petersburg’s liveliest and such a lot prolific ballet critic within the early a part of the 20th century. This publication, the 1st English variation of his provocative and influential writings, offers a outstanding examine lifestyles contained in the international of Russian ballet at a vital period in its history.
Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and interprets 40 of Volynsky’s articles—vivid, eyewitness money owed that glint 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 willing musical feel and artistic interpretive energy Volynsky used to be one of many first to acknowledge. Rabinowitz additionally interprets Volynsky’s magnum opus, The booklet of Exaltations, an intricate meditation on classical dance process that's straight away a primer and an ideological treatise. all through his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his serious advent, which units Volynsky’s existence and paintings opposed to the backdrop of the relevant highbrow currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the religious and airy features of ballet.
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Extra resources for Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925
361. 51. Edwin Denby, ‘‘Dance Criticism,’’ in Dance Writings, ed. Robert Cornﬁeld and William MacKay (New York: Knopf, 1986), 534. This page intentionally left blank 1 Reviews and Articles This page intentionally left blank Dance as a Solemn Ritual Q T he ballet season has begun with Swan Lake, in which the young ballerina Tamara Karsavina performed twice. The public is clearly interested in ballet, and among various segments of the Petersburg population word is spreading about the talented artists who are appearing on the ballet stage.
Ia. Gurevich, RGALI, fond 131, op. 1, ed. khr. ’’ From 1902 until 1917 the director of the imperial theaters was Vladimir Telyakovsky, a former colonel in the Russian army. Following the Revolution, Russian cultural institutions were in chaos until the early 1920s, when the Bolsheviks began to establish themselves ﬁrmly in power. Following some protracted wranglings, during which Volynsky supported Nikolai Legat (and Legat supported him) for the directorship of ballet at the Maryinsky, soon to be renamed the Kirov, Lopukhov was appointed to the post, which he held on and o√ until 1956.
Alas, Balanchine’s words were prescient; the days of Volynsky’s school were numbered, and it was forced to close in the autumn of 1925 because of its unproﬁtability and loss of distinguished dance faculty. Yet the legacy of that institution lives on permanently in Volynsky’s remarkable Book of Exaltations, his most lasting contribution to the study and practice of ballet, ‘‘dedicated to the students of the school of Russian Ballet’’ and consisting largely of the lectures he gave there. Published in a print run of three thousand copies (and reissued after a sixty-seven-year hiatus in an edition of ﬁve thousand), the book immediately became a collector’s item.