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Rolf de Mare - biography by Erik Näslund

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This is indeed fantastic. Erik Näslund, curator of the Swedish Dance Museum, has written a biography of Rolf de Mare.

Who is Rolf de Mare? I can almost hear you shouting across the ocean :angry2:

Well, de Mare was a Swedish Diaghilev, or thought he was. Well, both companies didnt survive for long, yet, both made a lasting inprint on the dance scene. There are indeed similarities between the two companies .

I have put the book on my wish list for Christmas and I am sure I will get it. (Otherwise I wll buy it for myself :dunno: )

I will want the book in Swedish - always better to read an original text if you can - but I learnt that it will be published both in English and French.

Will tell you all about it when I have read it.

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Thanks for posting this, Pamela. I have read about Ballets Suedois only as a footnote to the Diaghalev story. Your post is an encouragement -- and an opportunity -- to find out more.

I did not know, for instance, that the Royal Swedish Ballet reconstructed several of the Ballets Suedois pieces in 1998, and that one of them has a New York City setting.


Within the Quota (1923) is a stylized portrayal of a new immigrant's arrival in New York. Conceived by American painters Sara and Gerald Murphy, who worked jointly to develop the characters and costumes, it features a score by Cole Porter, Gerald's friend from his school days at Yale.

The story is of a young Swedish man arriving in New York and his encounters with Hollywood and American archetypes of all sorts, a role that pays homage to the Charlie Chaplin character in the 1917 film The Immigrant.

Porter's score for Within the Quota was considered his first hit and has proven to be his sole symphonic composition, but it also is remarkable for ushering in the jazz ballet genre.

A book on the company -- Paris Modern: the Swedish Ballet, 1920-25 -- was publshed by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco in 1996. Used copies are available at Amazon at quite low prices. I'm getting one. (Click the Amazon box at the top of the page; a percentage of each purchase goes to Ballet Talk. :angry2:

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Review of Rolf de Mare. Reviewed by Graham Watts.

. . . . "de Maré was a serious rival to Diaghilev" . . . .

"In their respective contributions to culture, there’s no doubt that the Ballets Russes won, hands down, but it also seems clear that the cutting edge experimentalism of Les Suédois – which lasted for less than five years - provoked a response from Diaghilev towards an ever-more modern approach to ballet, which stretched the boundaries of his own company in its final years."

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A book on the company -- Paris Modern: the Swedish Ballet, 1920-25 --

This EXCELLENT book -- I have a copy -- was actually the catalogue for an exhibition put on by the late GREAT Nancy van Norman Baer in SF which assembled fantastic materials from the Ballets Suedois. The essays are very helpful -- but the great thing about the book is the imagery -- the sets and costumes, the designs for these ballets were at least as wonderful as anything Diaghilev put on. Leger's designs for the Creation of the World set the ballet in Africa, with huge puppets 10 feet tall (think Julie Taymor's inspiration for Lion King) designed in a jazzy-African idiom, like Picasso's for Parade in being Cubist but more wonderful, I think. Nancy had a huge maquette of the stage, with sets and dancers and puppets represented, which just took your breath away. And the designs for Skating Rink were maybe even more wonderful.

By all means, Pamela, get this book to accompany the biography.

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