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New Book about "ballet and power in Soviet Russia" --SWANS OF THE KREMLIN, by Christina Ezrahi

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#1 bart


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Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:52 PM

The latest issue of the Times Llterary Supplement includes a review of a new book by Christina Ezrahi, Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia (University of Pittsburgh Press).

The discussion of this book -- which focuses primarily on the 1940s to 1968, and includes the 1956 Bolshoi tour to London, from which Plisetskaya was excluded -- starts about half-way through the article.


Has anyone read this? It sounds as if it might be a little specialized for my interests, but the role of cultural politics in the Soviet Union is always fascinating ... so, I'm thinking about it.

This is available on Amazon. If you click the Amazon box at the bottom of the page and order from there, a bit of the purchase price will go to help keep Ballet Alert online.

It has to be admitted that some of the ballets Ezrahi discusses really do sound like turkeys straight off the Soviet battery farm. Native Fields, first produced in 1953, had a classic “boy meets tractor” plot: “Andrei, nephew of the kolkhoz director, loves Galya, a Komosomol girl. He declares his love but has to leave for Moscow to study. A scene follows depicting the study of the kolkhoz against heat and drought . . . . Galia is now the leader of the Komsomol brigade . . . . Andrei decides to put all his knowledge and efforts toward speeding up the construction of the hydroelectric power station”. The ballet’s own wattage was not impressive, and its lights flickered out after just one season.

Any chance for a reconstruction, do you think? Posted Image

#2 sandik


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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

I just got this, and it's on my "to read" pile, but don't have anything to report yet...

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