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Who needs a biography?A real one


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#16 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:12 AM

Re: Spessistseva - she published an autobiography in 1966, "The Sleeping Ballerina," with substantial help from (and is often attributed to) Anton Dolin -- Dolin apparently was also instrumental in the filming of "The Sleeping Ballerina"

There is a reference to this on https://secure.bfi.o...5-diaghilev.pdf
Any reference on Google to "The Sleeping...." pulls up Dolin's name.

#17 canbelto

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:38 PM

Yes but the real drama behind Spessivtseva's story has never been told, I don't think. We've heard bits and pieces (an affair with a KGB officer, a bitter rivalry with Lifar at the Paris Opera Ballet, numerous clashes with ballerinas, and even speculation that she might have been a spy.

And I do wonder why there hasn't been a comprehensive biography of Balanchine even though there have been three(!!!) of Jerome Robbins. The people who worked with Balanchine are aging and now is probably the time to catch their stories.

#18 MakarovaFan

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:59 PM

A major biography/memoir of Vladimir Vasiliev is desperately needed. I'm surprised nobody has chimed in on this. The fact that quite possibly the greatest male dancer of the century has no biography out there is a terrible shame.

It would also be nice if Maximova's memoir 'Madame Nyet' would be translated and printed in the US.

And I know this will never be, but a biography of Alla Shelest would be a neat read.

Tanaquil LeClerq -- absolutely!

#19 Hans

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:10 PM

Pierina Legnani and Maria (Marie) Taglioni, as well as the other famous Romantic ballerinas. And how about August Bournonville?

#20 Helene

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:51 PM

A major biography/memoir of Vladimir Vasiliev is desperately needed. I'm surprised nobody has chimed in on this. The fact that quite possibly the greatest male dancer of the century has no biography out there is a terrible shame.

Not only was he a great dancer, on whom major roles were choreographed, but he also lived through the transition from the Soviet Union to Russia and the Bolshoi post-Grigorovich, and it would be fascinating to get his take on the Bolshoi through the transitions and today.

Of course, it would not be complete without a ton of photos of Vasiliev and Maximova, and would be even more wonderful with a DVD slipped into a pocket in the book jacket ( :angel_not: )

#21 dirac

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:53 PM

I had always hoped for a biography of Diana Adams -- perhaps too difficult to do now.


I had always hoped for a memoir. I think she would have produced a good one. Perhaps she was too private for such a project. If so, naturally one respects that, but it's a considerable loss all the same.

#22 canbelto

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:54 PM

How about Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, and Yuri Grigorivich? All were controversial but important choreographers.

In Grigorivich's case, his iron rule over the Bolshoi is also a goldmine waiting to be plundered. :angel_not:

#23 Amy Reusch

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:12 PM

Thanks rg! I'll look them up.

#24 Alexandra

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:53 PM

There is a Cranko bio ("Theatre in My Blood," by John Percival).

I believe someone is working on a MacMillan biography, but that is old news and I haven't heard an update.

There are also at least two biographies of Fokine. The problem with biographies is that they often disappear quickly. I remember being shocked when I learned that there had been a biography of Antoinette Sibley -- I'd missed it when it was published, and I follow such things rather carefully! :angel_not:

#25 Mashinka

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:29 AM

I think you will find that a biography of Kenneth MacMillan already exists; itís by Edward Thorpe. Agree about a biography of Grigorovich: that would be interesting, Iíd like to read a biography of Plisetskaya too as her ghastly autobiography was very selective with facts.

There are a number of biographies of Russian dancers written in Russian that have never been translated into English and I would particularly like to read Alla Osipenkoís. Getting back to Nureyev, Roland Petit has published a memoir of him that should be translated as he knew Nureyev from day one in the west and was watching his career when Rudolf was at his prime.

#26 perky

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 09:06 AM

After just re-watching my Ballet Russe DVD, I'm craving an Alexandra Danilova biography. I've read her own autobiography which was nice but think an objective well reseached biography is needed. So many of the younger female dancers recall her taking them under her wing, almost becoming a mother figure to them, yet we also know what a forceful strong personality she could be. I think she was a dancer who never knew how to be anything BUT a dancer. Every breath she took she breathed as a BALLERINA. A true creature of the theater. I think she was facinating.


Editing to add: I also agree that a Tanaquil LeClercq biography is overdue.

#27 Ostrich

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 09:15 AM

From time to time, talk of "the Balanchine book by Arlene Croce" surfaces on Ballet Talk, but we already know that's not a biography but a study of the ballets -- if it exists at all.

It does, cos I've got it!

And I vote for a biography of Nadia Nerina. Born in South Africa, trained with Marie Rambert and eventually invited as a guest artist to the Bolshoi, then to dissapear abruptly from the world of ballet - surely there's a fascinating story there?

#28 perky

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 09:55 AM

It does, cos I've got it!


Ostrich I can't help but think that you and Farrell Fan are thinking of two different books. The one FF refers to is Arlene Croce On Balanchine, a book we have been waiting on since 2003, the year of the Balanchine Centennial. First the release date was pushed to 2004, then followed a series of setbacks on the release date. I emailed the publisher, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux at this time last year and was told to expect a release date of February 2007. Of course Feb. 2007 saw no new book (big surprise). So being the persistant little bugger that I am I emailed them again in August of this year. This time I got no reply at all. Perhaps they think I'm some sort of Arlene Croce stalker?

#29 Hans

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:32 AM

Speaking of Rambert, is there a bio of her?

#30 Farrell Fan

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 11:31 AM

Thanks, Perky. I didn't know how to respond to Ostrich, because I thought it might be a joke -- in the nature of cubanmiamiboy confessing to be the great Alicia Alonzo.


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