Marcmomus

New book on Karsavina

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'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.

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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.

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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.

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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. )

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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.

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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.

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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:)

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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.

post-848-047186200 1284130431_thumb.jpg

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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:

http://www.hamandhighfest.co.uk/visual.htm

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.

SUN 15SEP TO FRI 10OCT

Free

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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

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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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I can't believe that folks in the USA still have not received the book. Mine came to my present locale (in Middle East) within a week of ordering from the UK amazon. AND I just received another fascinating book that I read last night and will review when I have a bit more time: Octavio Roca's tribute to Alicia Alonso...er, I mean, history of the Cuban Ballet...with convenient omissions (e.g., true story of the Sarabias).

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I can't believe that folks in the USA still have not received the book. Mine came to my present locale (in Middle East) within a week of ordering from the UK amazon.

I can't believe it, either...according to Amazon US, the book is out of print, with limited availability! I think I might order it from Amazon UK and pay extra for the shipping, though that will really be an expensive proposition. Amazon US went right from putting people on a notification list, to saying it is out of print...as far as I know, it has never even been stocked! Enjoy the new Roca book, too...that's another one that sounds fascinating.

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I can't believe that folks in the USA still have not received the book. Mine came to my present locale (in Middle East) within a week of ordering from the UK amazon.

I can't believe it, either...according to Amazon US, the book is out of print, with limited availability! I think I might order it from Amazon UK and pay extra for the shipping, though that will really be an expensive proposition. Amazon US went right from putting people on a notification list, to saying it is out of print...as far as I know, it has never even been stocked! Enjoy the new Roca book, too...that's another one that sounds fascinating.

This book is what in the past, would have been called a "vanity" publication being written and published by the author and it is my understanding that very few copies of the book were printed.

However, I have heard from several sources as to its value in terms of research and illustrations and in this respect goes beyond previous studies. It is short I am told, on descriptions of Karsavina in performance and fails to deal with her post Russia later life as Natalia mentioned.

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a communication i've had with Andrew Foster noted that he was finding it difficult to deal with Amazon (US) and suggested that any US buyers i knew might be advised to go through Amazon UK - the postage he thought was 7 GBP (if i understood correctly).

as for 'vanity' publication, tho' the term might traditionally apply here, it has long been something of a pejorative term. i wonder if a new one needs to be identified nowadays for such deluxe publications. print is on the decline and publishers that will take on a book of numerous photos are fewer and fewer, if they exist at all for any but presentations of pop stars.

the fact that this Karsavina scholar and collector has chosen to put his collection and his research in a book of this scale and with this care is to my way of seeing the world nowadays quite remarkable and more generous that 'vanity' of intention.

i'd say that Foster chose not to feature the later career of Karsavina for reasons of his own. from what i know of his collection, it does indeed cover the later years, but beyond editoral choices, he had to decide where to focus and where not to.

(full disclosure, i've been in touch w/ this collector over the years and 3 items from my collection are used for the book's copious illustrations.)

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Thank you for that information, rg...I will order through Amazon UK right away. Best wishes, and again thanks.

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I ordered a copy via Amazon UK, and it came very quickly. It is a gorgeous book, large photographs all on glossy stock. I certainly recommend it. Mary

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Thanks for that info, Mary...I have had so many large, unexpected expenses this month that I can't order it right away...but I'm glad to know you got it quickly and that you recommend it.

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I didn't know there was a hold-up from the US version of Amazon -- thanks so much for the heads-up!

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