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20th century ballet history timelineWhat happened after Diaghilev?


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#1 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 02:56 AM

I might make a stab at classifying the activities and artistic trends of the twentieth century as"

The Moderne period(1930-1945)
In which the artistic movements in graphic arts were experimented with in the context of ballet - surrealism, dada, cubism, and others, even including wartime nationalism.

The Expansionist period(1945-1955)
In which ballet, after years of economic and cultural depression and strife, reasserted itself in revivals, new creations, and the formation of great state companies, and the beginnings of large-scale international exchanges among companies.

The Ashton/Balanchine primacy(1955-1980)
A period of great creativity with these two masters at the top of the form, substance, and content of artistic output.

Current Events(1980-the advancing present)
Too soon to tell what's history.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 08:50 AM

I split this off from the timeline thread in Discovering Ballet.

Very good stab, Mel. I'd just thought of the 1929-1945 period as a "post-Ballet Russe" period, but I like yours better. I think the Expressionist strain continued -- MacMillan, especially -- but after the war, there was a "neoclassical" revival (I don't think that's a proper use of the term, but it's what's always used, so my objection is moot.)

I'd call the Balanchine-Ashton period the new neoclassical period and date it from the late '40s -- "Symphony in C," "Symphonic Variations" -- and also Lifar's "Suite en blanc" and Lander's "Etudes."

As for now, I'd go for The Electic Period or the Who's In Charge Here? period. It will be interesting if this will turn out to be a transition period, or if, well, this is it.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 09:23 AM

Well, we could go all Francis Fukuyama and call it "The End of History". :)

#4 Alexandra

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 10:06 AM

I can't believe you wrote that -- I almost put The Fukuyama Period!!! I think, though, that we'll find (as we have with Mr. Fukuyama) that there's no such thing as the end of history.

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 10:39 AM

administrative note:

I split off a post by Funny Face on the Diaghilev Era here

http://balletalert.i...pic=13318&st=0


I'd split this thread off from the timeline thread, but neglected to recap -- apologies! We had a timeline from court ballet to the Ballet Russe, and textbooks generally cover that. On this thread, we were getting at what happened after Diaghilev, which isn't well-covered in textbooks -- in ballet.

#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 11:26 AM

There are also sub-periods within some schools. I tried to figure out something to include the Soviet Russians, with 1924-1945 being the Vaganova Ascendancy, and then they, too, join the Expansionist period as recovery from WWII. 1955-6 marked the first openings of Soviet Ballet to the West. Their Expansion continued well into the 1970s, when more and more defections led to the eventual easing of travel restrictions on dancers, and with the coming of perestroika, they joined the present period with avidity.

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 11:40 AM

I agree -- the timelines we've posted are really for Western ballet.

When you look at Soviet/Russian ballet, Cliff's question -- is it an era, or is it a choreographer -- raises its head again. Is there a dramballet period? Or is that the Lavrovsky period?

#8 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 01:56 PM

There is a period of agitprop and "Marxist-Leninist Realism" in which the hero is always Communism and is always victorious found most prominently from 1927 (The Red Poppy). The deepest form is the political ballet Gayane, which dated from 1939 (first under the working title of "Happiness") to a full Mariinsky treatment in 1942. It fits, I think with the Modernes and survives into the Expansion period with the revival of Red Poppy in 1949, and a deStalinized Gayane in 1957. In the Marxist-Leninist Realist world, mime was viewed as bourgeois capitalist excess, and so cut out accordingly.


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