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1923-Fedor Lopukhov's "Dance Symphony"

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Subject "Dance Symphony"/ "Tanzsynfonia"

My name is Kevin Taylor,i have a friend in a Moscow ballet company (Kremlin Theater of Ballet) who has successfully recreated Lopukhov's "Tanzsynfonia" in Tokyo and St.Petersburg,Russia. My friend is Natalia Voskresenskaya,instructor for Kremlin Ballet and former member and choregrapher of Nemirovich-Dancheko ballet in Moscow.

"Tanzsyfonia" is a ballet that Lincoln Kirstein,of the New City Ballet,writes about in his book Movement & Metaphor(Four Centuries of Ballet). Kirstein states in his book that "Tanzsynfonia" was the prototype for the work

George Balanchine produced in America twelve years later,notably Serenada in 1935.George Balanchine was a principle dancer in "Tanzsynfonia" along with Alexandra Danilova,Leonid Lavrovsky,and Piotr Gusev in the only preformance of March 1923 at the Mariinsky Theater in St.Peterburg,Russia.Kirstein also states that "Tanzsynfonia" caused a scandal;much of its movement was considered obscene by the erudite balletomane and soviet critic A.L.Volyinsky.The combination of insistent symphonism and presumed sexuality was shocking to public and professionals who,cut off by the war

and revolution from Diaghilev's innovations,had seen little progressive chorography since

Fokine's work before 1914.Tanzsynfonia was censured by the Soviet's as an impure manifesto by a decadent younger generation.

The Tokyo preformance of "Dance Symphony" in October of 2000,that i refer in my first paragraph above,was reviewed in the magazine

Dance Europe (December 2000) by a Yuki Nagano.The ballet company NBA of Tokyo,Japan recreated "Dance Symphony" under the direction of

Natalia Voskresenskay.Natalia in 1998 found and read Lopukhov's manuscripts and chorographers notes in St.Petersburg and directed the NBA to recreate Dance Symphony.The Tokyo recreation

of "Dance Symphony" is the first known preformance in 77 years.

Natalia is also a Russian ballet researcher/historian and would like to find

a venue to recreate "Dance Symphony" in America.In addition Natalia has researched and does have access to original Russian ballet manuscripts of the 19th and early 20th century.

Also if anyone is interested general information

about Dance Symphony,or has addition background info please let me know.


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Fedor (or Fydor) Lopukhov was the older brother

of the Diahilev-Camargo Society (1920s-1930s) dancer, Lydia Lopokova. She married the famous

English economist, Maynard Keynes.

Keynes biographer, Robert Skidelsky, notes in vol. 2 that: "Balanchine arrived at

Tilton (the Keynes' country home)on 9 August (1929) to practise the score, taken from Moussorgsky's "Khovanshina", on a grand piano

specially bought from the Courtaulds. 'With Keynes,' writes Balanchine's biographer, 'he got on beautifully, for Keynes loved to talk about

ballet, and Balanchine loved to talk about money.'"

Ed Bock

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I just recently purchased a booklet from a rare

Russian book dealer,authored by Lopukhov,titled

Velichie Mirozdaniia(Grandeur of the Universe):

Petersburg/Liubarsky,1st edition 1922.

This book by Lopukhov has three pages of Russian

text followed by 20 pages with 20 black and white

silhouettes depicting dancers in various stages

of "Dance Symphony" also there is a small line

of music on each silhouette.The silhouettes were created by Pavel Gonchavov who was a Soviet theater artist.A few of these silhouettes,minus the chorographers notes,are the same as the silhouettes that appear in Lincoln Kirstein

book that has a chapter that deals with Lopukhov's "Tansynfonia".The cover of my books says that 500 copies were printed of this book.I believe that i now own a little bit of Russian ballet history.I would also like to find a copy of Lopukhov's 1925 book "A Chorographers Path".

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----I have obtained a copy of the video tape

"A TRIBUTE TO FEDOR LOPUKHOV" from a new friend

of mine who studied dance at the Leningrad

Conservatory.I have a few books that discuss

Lopukhov's work and maybe i will provide future

comment on the different ballet sections of the

video tape.

----Videotaped in performance on November 17, 1986.Presented by the Choreographic Institute of the Leningrad State Conservatory Rimsky-Korsakov, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of choreographer Fëdor Lopukhov. Producer/director: Nikita Dolgushin. Performed by members of the Kirov Ballet, students of the Conservatory, students of the Vaganova Choreographic School.

Part I: Choreographic heritage of Fëdor Lopukhov.

--Tanzsymphonia [The dance symphony]: The magnificence of the universe: Thermal energy (1923). Music: Ludwig van Beethoven (Symphony no. 4). Danced by Tatiana Ermolaeva, Larisa Boytsova (?), and male ensemble.

-- The ice maiden: Adagio and variation (1927). Music: Edvard Grieg, arr. by Boris Asafiev. Danced by Valia Ganibalova and Igor Morozov.

-- Khovanshchina: Persian dance (1926). Music: Modest Mussorgsky. Danced by Marina Komleleva (?) and ensemble. --

--The red poppy: Two excerpts (1929). Music: Reinhold Glière. Sailors' dance, performed by male ensemble. Tao-Hoa's variation, danced by Irina Portilyo (?).

-- The snow maiden: Pas de deux (1947). Music: Peter Tchaikovsky. Danced by Conservatory students: Oleg Petrov (?) and partner.

-- Raymonda: Variation (1922). Music: Aleksandr Glazunov. Danced by Tatiana Terekhova.

-- The sleeping beauty: Two variations (1923). Music: Tchaikovsky. Aurora's variation from the Act II vision scene, danced by Olga Chenchikova. The Lilac Fairy's variation from the Prologue, danced by Altynai Asylmuratova.

-- Taras Bulba: Three excerpts (1940). Music: Vassili Soloviev-Sedoi. Pas de deux, danced by Aleksandra Grivinia and Dimitri Korneyev. Ukrainian women's and men's dances, performed by the ensemble.

-- Coppélia: Act III pas de deux (1934). Music: Léo Delibes. Danced by Zhanna Ayupova and Aleksandr Lunev.

-- Pictures at an exhibition: Bydlo (1963). Music: Mussorgsky. Danced by V. Manuilov, A. Ivanenko, Vladimir Bondarenko, and Igor Morozov.

-- Don Quixote: Fandango (1923). Music: Eduard Nápravník. Danced by Annelina Kashirina and Vladimir Lopukhov, with ensemble from the Kirov Ballet.

Part II: Works by successors of Lopukhov.

-- Legend of love: Pas de deux. Choreography: Yuri Grigorovich. Music: Arif Melikov. Danced by Elena Evteeva and Nikita Dolgushin.

-- Coast of hope: Monologue. Choreography: Igor Belsky. Music: Andrei Petrov. Danced by Gabriella Komleva.

-- The concert: Mistake waltz. Choreography: Jerome Robbins. Music: Frédéric Chopin. Danced by six women.

-- Webern op. 5. Choreography: Maurice Béjart. Music: Anton Webern. Danced by Olga Chenchikova and Marat Daukayev.

--Onegin: Act III pas de deux. Choreography: John Cranko. Music: Tchaikovsky, arr. by Kurt-Heinz Stolze. Danced by Evteeva and Dolgushin.

-- Symphony in C. Choreography: George Balanchine. Music: Georges Bizet. Danced by Komleva, M. Vaziev, and ensemble.

-- Le corsaire: Le jardin animé. Choreography: Petr Gusev after Marius Petipa, staged by Nikita Dolgushin. Music: Riccardo Drigo. Danced by students of the Vaganova Choreographic School.

There is a copy of this tape at the dance

collection of the NYPL.


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fyi: after dolgushin presented some of his video tapes to the nypl/dance coll. there was a little screening of the 'dance symphony' reconstruction, which i attended, sitting right behind danilova. i filed a little item for dancemagazine on this screening, which is listed as follows in the library's catalogue:

Lopukhov work is shown at NYPL.

Dance magazine. New York. June 1991, p. 16. ill.

Notes:About Tribute to Fëdor Lopukhov, a videotape which includes a 1986 performance of Fyodor Lopukhov's 1923 work, Dance symphony (Tanzsymphonia). The tape was shown recently at the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

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I have watched the "Tribute to Lopukhov" and

enjoyed the performance very much.The only

drawback regarding the video tape is my copy is

a copy of a copy and the orginal recording was

done in a "home movie" fashion and not as a

"studio production".The video is very interesting

and the Tanzsynfonia Thermal Energy(part III)

is a very rare recreation.

-Also the NYCPL-Dance Collection has another

interesting vodeo titled

From Petipa to Diaghilev: Tracing Russian Ballet -1989

call# *MGZIC 9-3079

1 cassette. 29 min. : sd. color NTSC

Series Eye on dance ; 293

--Note Produced by ARC Videodance as part of the television series Eye on dance. Recorded on location at the Nakhamkin Gallery, New York, on October 2, 1989. Telecast on December 2, 1989. Producers: Celia Ipiotis and Jeff Bush. Video director: Richard Sheridan. Program director: Celia Ipiotis. Technical director: Jeff Bush. Host: Celia Ipiotis.

--SUMMARY: Illustrated by visual works and artifacts from the exhibition "One hundred years of Russian ballet: 1830-1930" at the Nakhamkin Gallery, New York.

-Dance historians Lynn Garafola and Tim Scholl provide an overview of Russian ballet beginning with the choreography of Marius Petipa.

-They discuss the dancers associated with him, particularly Mathilde Kshessinska, and some of the technical and choreographic achievements of his period, notably the evolution of the supported adagio.

-Moving on to the contributions of Serge Diaghilev, they discuss the rise of the unified production concept for ballets, the collaborative efforts of composers and designers (the latter including Léon Bakst), and Mikhail Fokin's choreographic innovations.

---They conclude with a discussion of the work of Fyodor Lopukhov in post-Revolutionary Russia, notably his experiments with plotless ballets. Excerpts from the Bolshoi Ballet's 1989 videorecording of The sleeping beauty are screened.


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After coming across a video of a rehearsal of this ballet (link below), I found this old thread.

How fascinating! If I ever make it to New York I'll be sure to visit NYPL to watch the films suggested above.



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