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Roman JasinskiA Gypsy Prince from the Ballet Russe


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#1 innopac

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 07:14 PM

Roman Jasinski: A Gypsy Prince from the Ballet Russe written by Cheryl Forrest and Georgia Snoke (2008)

I am enjoying reading this biography of Roman Jasinski very much. I like the way the authors have interwoven their research and Jasinski's own words (taken from extensive interviews).

This book gives one an understanding of the hardship and insecurity that was part of Jasinski's early dancing life. And the passion that kept him going.

Here are two excerpts from a passage where Jasinski is talking about Balanchine.

"I think Balanchine expressed emotions more in his early choreography. In his earlier ballets with stories the dancers had to express themselves. In America he tried to teach dancers to dance with expression, to act, but it was too hard, so he set abstract steps on the dancers. Emotions weren't really necessary. Instead he moved the dancer fast on the stage. His classes changed, too, after he came to America. He was always looking for speed." page 235

"Then too, without story ballets he didn't have to buy scenery, which was good because he didn't have any money. He was kind of a free man. He could do what he wanted. I always had the feeling that he wanted to choreograph with nobody bothering him. He decided to do his style and didn't care about scenery and costumes. When he came to New York he changed everything. He was smart when he saw he could do this. Balanchine made a tremendous revolution." page 235

For those interested here is an obituary for Jasinski.

#2 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:59 PM

Roman Jasinski: A Gypsy Prince from the Ballet Russe written by Cheryl Forrest and Georgia Snoke (2008)

I am enjoying reading this biography of Roman Jasinski very much. I like the way the authors have interwoven their research and Jasinski's own words (taken from extensive interviews).

This book gives one an understanding of the hardship and insecurity that was part of Jasinski's early dancing life. And the passion that kept him going.

Here are two excerpts from a passage where Jasinski is talking about Balanchine.

"I think Balanchine expressed emotions more in his early choreography. In his earlier ballets with stories the dancers had to express themselves. In America he tried to teach dancers to dance with expression, to act, but it was too hard, so he set abstract steps on the dancers. Emotions weren't really necessary. Instead he moved the dancer fast on the stage. His classes changed, too, after he came to America. He was always looking for speed." page 235

"Then too, without story ballets he didn't have to buy scenery, which was good because he didn't have any money. He was kind of a free man. He could do what he wanted. I always had the feeling that he wanted to choreograph with nobody bothering him. He decided to do his style and didn't care about scenery and costumes. When he came to New York he changed everything. He was smart when he saw he could do this. Balanchine made a tremendous revolution." page 235

For those interested here is an obituary for Jasinski.



Thanks so much for the information and especially those quotes. They offer insights that can only come from someone who knew him both before and after his arrival in the US.

#3 darlindancer

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 08:09 AM

Hello...I am a frequent reader of this site but this is my first post. I learn so much here!
I can't tell you how interesting this story about Jasinski has been to me and my extended family. My cousin's daughter married a Pole with this name, who emigrated to Canada as a child. They have young children who are studying ballet, a girl, 9 and a boy, 5. While I know that it is a long shot for a shared family history, I have sent them the links to check out. I urged them to look into this biography to see if they are aware of any connection.
I am smiling because their children are both loving ballet, making excellent progress, I am told, and it would be so neat for them to have this connection. Luckily his mother, though elderly, is quite clear mentally, so they might be able to extract some information that could help them to see if there is anything there.
In any case, just sharing the name should be an inspiration to these children, if they take their ballet to a more serious level as they get older.

#4 innopac

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 01:25 PM

Hello...I am a frequent reader of this site but this is my first post. I learn so much here!


Hello darlindancer :thumbsup:

I feel the same way as you do about this site!

Unfortunately, I read a library copy so I don't have on hand the names of Jasinski's family members. They are mentioned in the book. Jasinski did keep contact with his family in Poland and sent money to help them whenever he could, even when his own financial situation was difficult.

#5 dirac

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 02:18 PM

Thanks for the links, iinnopac, I enjoyed reading them. Interesting comments on Balanchine.

Greetings and welcome to the board, darlindancer. :unsure:


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