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New book on Karsavina

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#1 Marcmomus



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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:01 PM

'Tamara Karsavina: Diaghilev's Ballerina' by Andrew R Foster is being published in August.

The following is from the publisher's blurb on amazon.co.uk:
Featuring over 200 stunning photographs from museums and private collections around the world, Tamara Karsavina: Diaghilev's Ballerina traces the life and career of one of the 20th century's greatest dance artists. This deeply-researched book details her rise through the ranks of St Petersburg's legendary Imperial Ballet where, alongside Pavlova and Nijinsky, she excelled in the classics and emerged as the supreme interpreter of Fokine's new choreography. Her spectacular debut in the West, as a star of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, put her at the forefront of all his historic seasons and confirmed her place among the greatest dancers in ballet history. Karsavina's major performances up to 1918, in each year of the Maryinsky and Diaghilev seasons, are clearly outlined and illustrated with exquisite photographs, many never before seen outside Russia. Individual chapters highlight her seminal role in the creation of such masterpieces as The Firebird, Le Spectre de le Rose and Carnaval.
A legendary beauty in her day, and the subject of widespread adulation, Karsavina's formal portraits are simply breathtaking. Numerous candid photographs of her personal life also offer us a fascinating glimpse into the fashions and lifestyles in the great capitals of Europe one hundred years ago.
With its comprehensive scope and meticulous research, Tamara Karsavina: Diaghilev's Ballerina is a long-overdue and indispensable resource for ballet historians and dance lovers everywhere.

ANDREW FOSTER has been researching Tamara Karsavina's life and career for over 30 years and owns the world's largest private collection of Karsavina's photographs and images. He is a respected dance historian and is acknowledged by theatre museums worldwide as the leading expert regarding the life and career of Tamara Karsavina.

Looks to me like the cat's pyjamas.

#2 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:13 PM

Wow...gotta get my hands on that... :sweatingbullets:

#3 rg


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Posted 18 June 2010 - 07:01 PM

i have become acquainted with A.Foster - we met over an auction of a photo that was supposed to be Karsavina but i knew was not.
he has an amazingly rich collection of images of TPK (as we call T.P.Karsavina in some correspondence) and knows her 'story' extremely well. he has noted variously miscaptioned pictures over the time i've known him.
i expect this book to be a fine piece of work.

#4 sandik


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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:52 PM

Oh this is just excellent news, and just in time for my birthday! RG, I'm so glad to hear your thoughts on this -- she's been a big interest of mine for many years.

#5 LiLing


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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:51 PM

I must have been about twelve when I first read Theatre Street and I have been fascinated by her legend ever since. I can't wait to get a copy of this new book. It sounds like a must have for the photos alone!

And for any of you who have missed Theatre Street, It is Mme Karsavina's autobiography, ( and one of my all time favorites. )

#6 Bonnette


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Posted 31 August 2010 - 08:40 AM

Foster's book will be a must-have for me, as well. Amazon US has a notification signup for it, and on Amazon UK they're taking preorders. Very exciting!

I just received a copy of Theatre Street from Amazon Marketplace and am already riveted by it.

#7 Jane Simpson

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:24 AM

Jane Pritchard (taking time out from organising the big Diaghilev exhibition about to open at the V&A in London) reviews this book for the ballet.co magazine - with some delectable illustrations.

#8 bart


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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:44 AM

Thank you, Jane, for the link to that very interesting review. It -- and the illustrations -- definitely whet the appetite.

Llike Bonnette, I've signed up on Amazon for notification.

(All I had to do is click the box above. All purchases made via this Amazon link help keep Ballet Talk on the net. :thumbsup:)

#9 rg


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:55 AM

for those in the area who might be able to gain access to the event noted in a message from Andrew Foster, i pass along some information from an email: "a private view of the Karsavina photo exhibition up in Hampstead [is planned for Monday, Sep. 13]. It was supposed to be opened by Antoinette Sibley, but she is ill and will be replaced by Monica Mason."
in relation to all this, i attach a scan from the web of a Bros. Legat caricature of Tamara Platonovna Karsavina, which to the best of my knowledge is not in the show.

Attached Files

#10 ViolinConcerto


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 01:23 AM

In her review of the Karsavina book, Pritchard mentions that The Hampstead and Highgate festival for the arts is having a photo exhibit about Karsavina. It is tied in with the V&A Ballets Russes exhibition.
The exhibit will be shown in the London Jewish Cultural Center -- which just happens to be IVY HOUSE: Pavlova's lovely residence. Here is the website, and some quoted information:


London Jewish Cultural Centre
Photographic exhibition
Russian dancer Tamara Karsavina, for many years a Hampstead resident, was a leading star of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company, famously created the role in Stravinsky’s Firebird and was frequently partnered by the great Vaslav Nijinsky. This photographic exhibition, at the former home of her contemporary and rival Anna Pavlova, tells the story of her career at the Russian Imperial Ballet, her solo tours, and her pioneering work with the Ballets Russes.

14 Sep: 10am–8pm
15 Sep: 10am–4pm
16 Sep: 10am–4pm
22 Sep: 10am–6pm
27 Sep: 10am–6pm
28 Sep: 10am–6pm
29 Sep: 10am–6pm
5 Oct: 10am–8pm
6 Oct: 10am–4pm
7 Oct: 10am–8pm
For more information, visit the LJCC web site.

#11 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:31 PM

Yes folks, ordered my copy today and cant wait to get it :P Also want to apologize for not getting it from Amazon, I ordered it from the nearest (to me) source, which is Dance Books in England. Must be a very hefty tome though, they wanted 35 quid for it and mail charges 15 quid :wallbash: I almost fainted. That is really a lot of money. Lets just hope it will be worth it. I will probably have the book by beginning of next week so I promise I will post my first impressions.

#12 Bonnette


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:23 PM

Can't wait to hear what you think, Pamela!

I don't understand what's going on with Amazon - first they offered a notification list, and now I see that the book is listed as "Out of print - limited availability." :dunno:

#13 Natalia


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Posted 04 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

I received my copy a couple of days ago and read the entire thing in one long sitting, it was so fascinating, lovingly researched and delectably illustrated. Just when I thought that I had seen all known photos of this ballerina I was surprised by many, many rarities, such as the series in a sari, as a secondary soloist in Petipa's Talisman. The author has done a great service in filling the personal gaps of TPK's private life that are omitted in her autobiography. Too, her 'golden years' as a true ballerina at the Mariinsky (1914-1918) are chronicled here as nowhere else. My only complaint is that the tome stops somewhat abruptly when TPK and family depart Russia in 1918, thus omitting the important 2nd phase of her life with the Diaghilev troupe (Nijinska/Balanchine Romeo & Juliet, Massine's Tricorne and Good-Humored Ladies). After such meticulous research and thorough writing on every major ballet in her repertoire pre-1918, I felt a bit cheated...but perhaps a 2nd volume is in the works?

The Nijinska/Balanchine R&J, in particular, is screaming for more research; the one little photo of TPK with Lifar, in Lifar's recollections, is surely not the only existing photo of the ballerina as Juliet?

Thanks 1,000-fold to Andrew Foster and his associates for this gorgeous tome, a 'must have' for every scholar or admirer of the fine art of ballet. :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

#14 kfw


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Posted 04 October 2010 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for that mini-review, Natalia. Nice to see you posting again!

#15 Bonnette


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Posted 04 October 2010 - 06:54 PM

Oh, my, Natalia, that is such an informative and mouth-watering review - I so hope that Amazon will come through! That you read the book in one epic session speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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