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Dancing in Petersburg

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As with everything else about ballet, most of you likely have known this years before I, but not long ago I finished reading aloud – to my wife, in fact – Dancing in Petersburg, the 1960 translation of Mathilde Kschessinka’s, later Princess Marie Romanovsky-Krassinsky’s, memoirs.

I wish she’d included more details of ballet, but it’s a fascinating account, not only of her career, but of important aspects of her private life, social intercourse, treatment by the Bolsheviks, flight, and resurrection in Paris.

From what one reads in different sources, it seems that some of her accounts regarding other individuals are probably less than totally objective, but I ended with the impression that if there were a more influential woman in Russia during her time, it must have been the Czarina. I also finished with the thought that there couldn’t have been a finer ballerina. If you haven’t read this, I believe you can learn a great deal from it and be highly entertained.

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If you are interested in a more recent book about M.K. I would strongly recommend "Imperial dancer - Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs" by Coryne Hall - Sutton Publishing Limited, 2005. Ms. Hall is also an eminent historian so the historical contents regarding the Imperial family are equally interesting.

Dancing in St. Petersburg is M.K's own take on the proceedings, maybe not always so truthful. My advice is to read both and then compare! :devil:

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Thanks for the recommendations, folks. Just a reminder here to everyone else that both books can be ordered through the "Search Amazon" window at the top of every Ballet Talk page. And using that window helps keep Ballet Talk going. :devil:

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