rg

RUSSIAN BALLET SYMPOSIUM

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the following information comes from an organizer connected with Barnard and Columbia U.

Final plans and full details are still being worked out, and should be known in a few weeks, in the meanwhile, for anyone interested, the following information has been provided by the organziers:

A "Russian Ballet Symposium will take place on October 12-13 at Barnard College and Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. The symposium, which has been organized by Cathy Nepomnyashchy and Lynn Garafola, is sponsored by the University's Harriman Institute, of which Nepomnyashchy is director. The speakers include dance scholars, musicologists, and art historians with an interest in Russian ballet both at home and abroad. The entire event is free and open to the public."

"it begins on Friday, Oct. 12th, at 5 (or thereabouts) and will go the entire following day from 9-6.

as noted, the full schedule and list of participants will be known in a few weeks, at which time i'll post them here.

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"it begins on Friday, Oct. 12th, at 5 (or thereabouts) and will go the entire following day from 9-6. As noted, the full schedule and list of participants will be known in a few weeks, at which time i'll post them here.

What a wonderful opportunity!..I wish that we could have more of those type of events down here in Miami... It's sad of how behind this city gets in relation with cultural environment development, which we really, desperate need .:crying:

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the symposium starts tomorrow, friday, oct. 12 and concludes on saturday, oct. 13.

the only changes have involved the venue for the fri. presentations, which are in a different room on the 3rd floor of barnard hall, but there'll no doubt be signs to direct the attendees.

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the symposium starts tomorrow, friday, oct. 12 and concludes on saturday, oct. 13.

the only changes have involved the venue for the fri. presentations, which are in a different room on the 3rd floor of barnard hall, but there'll no doubt be signs to direct the attendees.

Who was actually invited?

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i think there is another post somewhere on BT of the symposium's program, but i can't find it now.

if by 'invited' you mean the speakers, if you mean attendees, the event is free and open to the public:

International Symposium of Russian Ballet

P r o g r a m

October 12-13, 2007

Friday (Sulzberger Parlor/Barnard College) [venue changed from Sulzberger to Held auditorium, same floor of Barnard Hall]

5:00-5:15

Welcome

Catharine Nepomnyashchy (Barnard College/Harriman Institute)

Lynn Garafola (Barnard College)

5:15-6:00

Elizabeth Souritz (State Institute for Research in the Arts, Moscow), "Moscow vs. Petersburg: The Petersburg Choreographer Alexei Bogdanov in Moscow"

6:00-6:45

Round Table

Lynn Garafola (Barnard College)

Tim Scholl (Oberlin College)

Simon Morrison (Princeton University)

6:45-7:05

Robert Greskovic (Wall Street Journal), "Russian Dancers of Diferent Worlds: Postcards from St. Petersburg and Moscow"

7:05-8:15 Reception

Saturday (1501 International Affairs Building/Columbia University)

9:00-12:30

Diaghilev, the Diaspora, and Beyond

9:00-10:45

Chair: Joan Acocella (The New Yorker)

Sjeng Scheijen (Leiden University), "A Place to Dream, A Place to Rest: Diaghilev and Venice"

Jane Sharp (Rutgers University), "Natalia Goncharova and the Post-Orientalist Avant-Garde"

Juliet Bellow (Drew University), "Sonia Delaunay's Cleopatra and "the Light of the Orient'"

Discussant: Elizabeth Valkenier (Columbia University)

10:45-11:15

Break

11:15-1:00

Chair:

Irina Klyagin (Harvard Theatre Collection), "'My precious genius of a friend': George Balanchine's Correspondence with the Russian Emigré Community"

Harlow Robinson (Northeastern University), "Russian Dancers and Their Image in Hollywood Cinema"

Gunhild Oberzaucher-Schüller (Salzburg University), "Bare Facts of a Greater Order: On the Performance Tradition of Petipa Ballets"

Discussant: Nancy Reynolds (The George Balanchine Foundation)

1-2:15

Lunch

2:15-6:15

Ballet in the Soviet Era

2:15-4:00

Chair:

Stanley J. Rabinowitz (Amherst College), "The Short and Fitful Life of Akim Volynsky's School, 1920-1925"

Elizabeth Kendall (Eugene Lang College, New School), "In Search of Lydia Ivanova"

Tim Scholl (Oberlin College), "Piety or Blasphemy? The Soviet Ballet Debates of the 1920s"

Discussant: Tatiana Smoliarova (Columbia University)

4:00-4:30

Break

4:30-6:15

Chair: Rebecca Stanton (Barnard College)

Simon Morrison (Princeton University), "Romeo and Juliet's Happy Ending"

Christina Ezrahi (University College, London), "The Thaw in Soviet Culture and the Return of Symphonic Dance"

Catharine Nepomnyashchy (Barnard College/Harriman Institute), "Ideologies of the Soviet Ballerina"

Discussant: Boris Gasparov (Columbia University)

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Thanks so much for this information, RG..... I am shifting around my weekend so that I can get there. Hope to see you! (And how on earth did I miss this when you first posted it??)

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the posting confusion is probably my doing. i started this mention and then dale properly posted the release(s) from columbia, but my mention somehow became more evident than the other, full one.

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I attended about half of the Symposium, and was quite surprised at its scholarly nature. Since my major interests are the Diaghilev era and Balanchine, those were the sessions that meant the most to me. There were four sessions, three speakers for each session and someone would then summarize the session and pull together ideas touched on by each of the speakers.

The talks began with the influence of Venice itself on Serge Diaghilev, from the time he was 18 until his death, using his letters to his step-mother as a source, which gave an interesting insight into the great man as a young man. Two art historians then discussed the influences on two of the women designers used by Diaghilev, Natalia Goncharova and Sonia Delaunay before and after they left Russia/the Soviet Union. The summing up (and some of the discussion) was very detailed and academic (and dealt with things that I knew nothing about) so I got little out of it.

The next session was the most rewarding for me, personally, especially Irina Klyagin's discussion of Balanchine's correspondence with his Russian friends both before and after his arrival in America. We learned that there is nothing, NOTHING in the Harvard Library holdings in Balanchine's own hand other than one prayer. But, though there are no letters in Balanchine's own hand, there are many that begin, "George Balanchine asked me to write to you...." Nancy Reynolds (the discussant) referred to the letters to Serge Grigoriev from Balanchine while he was recuperating in the Alps (she could recite them by heart! I had thought of them during the talk as well.) Later, Ms. Klyagin said that she didn't mention them because they weren't in Balanchine's papers, but Grigoriev's.

She told about the many Russian emigres during and after WWII who were in very dire straights, and appealed to Balanchine for help. One man in particular, who Balanchine did, indeed help to get to the US (it took about 10 years) then literally pestered Mr. B. for years asking for a job, money, food, contacts, and was very ungrateful, and also very, very jealous of Balanchine's giving Danilova a job. Ms. Klyagin referred to Mr. B's sending money and care packages personally and through the Tolstoy Foundation. She also mentioned, a propos of Mr. B. never writing, that there is a letter from his mother saying, basically, "Thank you for the care package, but a letter from you would be more precious."

The final speaker in this session, who talked about the structure of Petipa ballets, was totally incomprehensible to me because of her accent and speed. So I learned nothing about something I would have liked to learn about. Again, Nancy Reynolds in drawing the three talks together (the other one was about Russian Ballet dancers in Hollywood), was priceless.

The last talk that I really appreciated was by Elizabeth Kendall about Lydia Ivanova, the dancer who was supposed to leave Russia/the Soviet Union with Danilova, Balanchine, Geva and Efimov, but mysteriously drowned about 2 weeks prior to their departure. She and Balanchine had been the top 2 students at the Imperial Academy, and she was accepted into the Company as a soloist -- very rare. She was "Dawn" in Copelia. She worked with Balanchine in his Young Ballets, so their artistic relationship was very close. She had very distinct phrasing, a big jump and a high extension among other qualities that Balanchine would use in later years. Her last teacher was Olga Preobajenskaya, who would later teach Vaganova.

Kendall was very, very involved in this talk, referring to Ivanova as "Lyditchka," nearly moved to tears when talking about her death.

I was very sorry to have missed RG's talk and postcards the night before (several people said it was wonderful), but the next day, he was kind enough to identify a "mystery" postcard I showed him.

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Thank you very much for that report, Violin Concerto. As one who wanted very much to attend the conference but couldn't, it was very nice to hear a firsthand report. (I had no idea that there was nothing in Balanchine's handwriting at the Harvard Collection. Egads. Give us another 200 or so years and, like Shakespeare, people might claim this as evidence that he never existed!)

Did anyone else here go?

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I attended only the final panel and regret not having seen more. So, thanks, Violin Concerto, for your summation.

Catharine Nepomnyashchy, a co-organizer (with Lynn Garafola) and a friend since we were both very little, told the gathering that she hoped the papers would be posted on the web. That should help Violin Concerto understand the paper delivered by the Russian-speaking presenter. Better, in this case, than video, but perhaps not so good to enjoy and learn from rg's postcard collection.

Simon Morrison's story of Prokofiev's R&J was full of intrigue, but I did not take notes and hesitate to reconstruct here.

Cathy's presentation about the Soviet Ballerina included a slide of Galina Ulanova dressed in a "mannish" suit with medals on her chest and looking very severe. My immediate reaction: Ninotchka!

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the conference organizers have already asked for presenters to submit their presentations as e-copy for eventual posting on the web.

i suppose if all do so, the full conf. will be given in written form on line; the site, i believe would be one connected to the harriman institute.

the 'diaghilev in venice' presentation by sjeng scheijen (a careful and multi-lingual scholar from netherlands) was esp. good during the sessions early in the day.

if i hear more about the publication on line of the proceedings, i'll post the info.

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I caught about half of the first evening, (unfortunately had rehearsals and couldn't catch 2nd day) and must say that Greskovic's photo collection was glorious on the big screen... much different than viewing it at home on the computer, even if they are high resolution images! And one rather dim question, I should have asked there (but was intimidated by the amassed scholarship in the audience)... is a carte de visite a calling card or a souvenir?

Looking forward to reading the papers on-line, if that's possible... somehow it's easier to be overwhelmed by the wealth of information and find it more difficult to process the accents while trying to remember the names involved.... and even if there is no accent involved, for some of us whose recall isn't brilliant as ViolinConcerto's, it would be lovely to go back and go over the information again. The round table with Garafola, Scholl & Morrison came through with no s/n problem... but I don't suppose that will be available on-line? It was nice of Garafola to take up the cause of the "unknown" dancers...

... I'm not sure how a capital's company can be considered "provinciaL' but I suppose NYers have complained about Washington DC dance that way... why culture grows at gateways/ports/borders more than in capitals where presumably the money & power sit... or maybe money & power tend to settle different areas?

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carte de visite (CDV) defines what were essentially calling-card sized photos in the era before postcard-sized photos, i.e. mid-19th c. through about the early 1890s, i think.

wikipedia is a good place to start to get a more in-depth explication, etc. of CDV etc.

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. and even if there is no accent involved, for some of us whose recall isn't brilliant as ViolinConcerto's, it would be lovely to go back and go over the information again.

Recall? Moi? Not at all, just a trusty notebook and pen. But thanks for thinking that it was real memory!

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Wikipedia is such a surprising resource... I should know by now to turn there first... but sometimes my consciousness is stuck in the pre-wikipedia world...

However, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carte_de_visite doesn't really answer something I've been wondering about. They weren't really used as visiting cards, then were they? The "visite" was the famous person's visit to the photographer's studio, or just because it was the same size as a calling card? I understand that they were collected, but how were they distributed... did people get them at the theater? So they were a souvenir? Or did one just buy them at a newspaper stand or book shop?

Still, ViolinConcerto, you took the notes... I had a pad & pen in my lap but found I had to concentrate too hard on keeping up with the speed of the info with foriegn names coming out of Souritz while deciphering the accent to be able to keep notes... Not a problem with the round table, and I should have bestirred myself, but by then I seemed to have settled into a different mental mode.

Anyway, Thanks!

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free association guessing here:

i suspect the 'CDV' identification comes from the fact that these little 'albumen' photos were printed the same size as standard carte de visite of the era.

my sense is that these items were sold by the photo studio that produced them. (perhaps in 'payment' to the artistes sitting (or standing) for the photographer, a number were given to the personality in the photo, which i suppose. given the subject's happiness with the results, could become items used as calling cards or souvenirs to friends, admirers, etc.

but as i say this is all free association on my part, i am not a photocard expert.

my scattershot efforts toward understanding these items go mostly toward identifying the subjects and not in the direction of understanding the form of the photos themselves.

as usual, i suspect someone on BT knows some keen hard facts on this subject. mel may yet chime as a font of accurate information.

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Yes, rg, you are correct in that the CDV was a salted-paper or albumen print which was used as the carte-de-visite was in the days when such things were still prevalent in social circles. They were also much used as postcards are used today, for advertising and publicity purposes. (John Wilkes Booth had several THOUSAND of himself in his estate - actor with big ego, you know)

Many paper CDVs are found today with one corner bent in the proper manner for visiting cards, (upper right meant "come over to my place", left corner meant "Drop me a quick letter", and other variations. CDVs were easy and inexpensive for the "collodion artiste" to make, as they were often made using an ambrotype "negative" on a glass sheet. The practice of the CDV even came down into the 20th century, with the ferrotype (tintype) photograph in a 1/9 sheet size. But ferrotype technology was different. Each picture was a direct-positive, and unique. The photographers would mount these little metal photos in a paper frame so that the giver could write a one- or two-line message and perhaps sign them.

If you want to collect these little historic photos, resist the urge to try to remove the photo from the backing, no matter how fragile the latter may seem. The photo will roll up into a tight little tube, and the paper conservators are still working on a good way to reflatten them and mount them on acid-free board. "Tintypes" don't care. You can remove the paper around them with no damage to the photograph, but I find the frames part of the charm of collecting them.

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thanks, mel. i suspected you'd be able to sort out a good deal of the past history surrounding these cards.

i'd never dream of trying to remove any of these fragile pix from their backing - even in the cases where the corner is lifted a little from the mounting. w/ rare exceptions how these things come into my hands, is how they remain there.

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the conference organizers have already asked for presenters to submit their presentations as e-copy for eventual posting on the web.

i suppose if all do so, the full conf. will be given in written form on line; the site, i believe would be one connected to the harriman institute.

the 'diaghilev in venice' presentation by sjeng scheijen (a careful and multi-lingual scholar from netherlands) was esp. good during the sessions early in the day.

if i hear more about the publication on line of the proceedings, i'll post the info.

Thank you!

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Thanks. I think my interest stems from wishing they were still common practice today... I'd love to collect these of contemporary dancers I admire. Eliot Feld put collector cards in his programs in one of the early Joyce concerts, but no one seems to have kept up the practice. Seems like good publicity/branding... We still have baseball cards after all.

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