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Marius Petipa Biography by Nadine Meisner

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Oxford University Press has announced that it will publish the first English language biography of Marius Petipa in June 2019. The book's full title is "Marius Petipa; The Emperor's Ballet Master", its author is Dr Nadine Meisner and the publisher's price quoted at present is £22.99 which makes it just under $30.00.

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Am I the only person in the USA who is excited about the prospect of this book arriving in my mail box today, June 3rd? I don't think so. :)

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Honestly, it had slipped my mind.

For those in my situation, it's on offer on the Oxford site for about $35 US, which is still an amazing price, especially in comparison to the Wiley book on Ivanov, which is listed next -- it costs $275.  But it is a reprint, so it's extra fuss.

I'm going for the bargain!

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I may have celebrated too quickly. I received an email from amazon that the US shipment of this book is delayed but no mention of the new date. :(  When I ordered it months ago, we were promised June 3, 2019.

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1 hour ago, Roberta said:

I may have celebrated too quickly. I received an email from amazon that the US shipment of this book is delayed but no mention of the new date. :(  When I ordered it months ago, we were promised June 3, 2019.

Amazon tells me today to expect it June 5. I'm pretty sure that was the original expectation.

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28 minutes ago, California said:

Amazon tells me today to expect it June 5. I'm pretty sure that was the original expectation.

Thanks. I can wait two days, for sure.  The email today from Amazon apologized that the book wasn't coming today, so some people received the June 3rd date.

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1 hour ago, Roberta said:

Thanks. I can wait two days, for sure.  The email today from Amazon apologized that the book wasn't coming today, so some people received the June 3rd date.

New message just now: delivered June 4. I don't buy/read every dance biography that comes along, but I've become more interested in seeing how Ratmansky has reconstructed some of Petipa's work. 

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Strand Bookstore in NY had several reviewer copies for half price. I bought one last week for $17.50. It's beautiful - very detailed,
500 pages, 2 sections of photographs. I checked on line - they are still showing available copies for pick-up or mail delivery.

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22 hours ago, California said:

New message just now: delivered June 4. I don't buy/read every dance biography that comes along, but I've become more interested in seeing how Ratmansky has reconstructed some of Petipa's work. 

Mine came today, too. After all of the messaging from Amazon, it was only a one-day delay. LOL.  We can say that they care for their customers.

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Mine is supposed to be here today! Very much looking forward to reading this!

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Posted (edited)

It's a winner! After work, I missed my aquatics class and went straight home, to begin reading. It's an easy and delightful read so far, yet very well researched with known and heretofore-unknown primary and secondary sources, including the unpublished bio by daughter Vera Petipa. The illustrations are nice, some of them new to these eyes BUT...for the full illustrated explosion, I fear that I may have to acquire the 2-part jumbo "Tanzmania" catalogue of the St. P Theatre Museum (5,500 rubles/$85 + whatever the int'l shipping may cost, which must be a huge amount...it may be cheaper to jump on a plane and carry it back home):

https://theatremuseum.ru/shop/dancemania

Edited by Roberta

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I am reading it right now. Very interesting scholarly biography. I was disturbed by a hair-curling account by Maria Petipa of her husband's physical abuse, including the fact that he used to lock her in the bedroom and beat her until she passed out and that he did this in front of servants and her children. Wow.

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A review of the book by Megan Race for The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Quote

That said, the biography’s nonlinear thematic organization can be a bit disorienting. There are, at times, strange chronological jumps in the narrative, and the whole can come to feel like a series of articles rather than a stand-alone book, and one has to reconstruct the life story by flipping back and forth. For example, chapter six, titled “Questions of Style and Structure,” covers some of the major stylistic reforms that occurred during Petipa’s tenure with the Imperial Ballet. Chapters eight and 10 outline the divergent styles of the two directors of the Imperial theaters who were in charge while Petipa was working. Meisner shows that, under Ivan Vsevolozhsky — director from 1881 to 1899 and the subject of chapter eight — Petipa flourished and ultimately created the grand choreographies for which the Russian Imperial became notable and which later influenced the Soviet ballet in its various iterations. In chapter 10, conversely, Meisner tracks Petipa’s “decline and fall,” mostly under Vladimir Teliakovsky, director from 1901 to 1917, showing how the by-then elderly ballet master was effectively pushed out in the wake of the artistic revolutions that took place at the turn of the 20th century.

 

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