Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925

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9780300124620: Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925

Akim Volynsky was a Russian literary critic, journalist, and art historian who became Saint Petersburg’s liveliest and most prolific ballet critic in the early part of the twentieth century. This book, the first English edition of his provocative and influential writings, provides a striking look at life inside the world of Russian ballet at a crucial era in its history.

Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and translates forty of Volynsky’s articles—vivid, eyewitness accounts that sparkle with details about the careers and personalities of such dance luminaries as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, and George Balanchine, at that time a young dancer in the Maryinsky company whose keen musical sense and creative interpretive power Volynsky was one of the first to recognize. Rabinowitz also translates Volynsky’s magnum opus, The Book of Exaltations, an elaborate meditation on classical dance technique that is at once a primer and an ideological treatise. Throughout his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his critical introduction, which sets Volynsky’s life and work against the backdrop of the principal intellectual currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the spiritual and ethereal qualities of ballet.

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About the Author:

Stanley J. Rabinowitz is Henry Steele Commager Professor and professor of Russian, Amherst College, and director of the Amherst Center for Russian Culture. He lives in Amherst, MA.

Review:

"An exhilarating gathering of writings by a profoundly influential critic, and a striking, startling contribution to the historical record."—Simon Morrison, Princeton University (Simon Morrison)

“An extremely important contribution to the literature on dance.”—Lynn Garafola, author of The Ballet Russes and Its World (Lynn Garafola)

“Volynsky's detailed and perceptive reviews of dancers and dancing at the Maryinsky Theater—until now unavailable in English—are fascinating and illuminating; his legendary Book of Exaltations turns out to be both as tendentious and as brilliant as its reputation suggested it was. In tackling and bringing to fruition this important project, Stanley Rabinowitz has performed an immense service to the dance literature."—Robert Gottlieb, author of George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker
(Robert Gottlieb)

“Only a scholar of Stanley Rabinowitz's erudition and experience could navigate the treacherous waters of Russian cultural politics in the early twentieth century, the tempestuous world of Russian and Soviet dance, and the thorny contradictions of Volynsky's thought and syntax to bring these invaluable documents into English. Dance is in his debt.”—Tim Scholl, author of Sleeping Beauty, a Legend in Progress
(Tim Scholl)

"Rabinowitz’s near-miraculous translations of this eccentric Russian critic/philosopher’s sequential reviews put the reader in the theater, and bring back to life perhaps the most important years in the history of ballet—those leading up to and beyond the great cataclysm of the Russian revolution. As Akim Volynsky wrestles with the meaning of an art, the art itself spills out into his pages. This is the best kind of history: written in the passion of a long-ago moment, interpreted for the present by a master scholar."—Elizabeth Kendall, author of Autobiography of a Wardrobe
(Elizabeth Kendall)

"This is a fantastic book. . . . The book is a must for anyone claiming a love of ballet. . . . [Volynsky's text] is always hugely entertaining and surprising, you will never look at a toeshoe, a tiara or a tendu . . . the same way again."—Toni Bentley, New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) (Toni Bentley New York Times Book Review 2009-01-25)

"The first English-language edition of some of the world's finest writings on ballet."—New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) (New York Times Book Review)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2008. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Akim Volynsky was a Russian literary critic, journalist, and art historian who became Saint Petersburg s liveliest and most prolific ballet critic in the early part of the twentieth century. This book, the first English edition of his provocative and influential writings, provides a striking look at life inside the world of Russian ballet at a crucial era in its history. Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and translates forty of Volynsky s articles-vivid, eyewitness accounts that sparkle with details about the careers and personalities of such dance luminaries as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, and George Balanchine, at that time a young dancer in the Maryinsky company whose keen musical sense and creative interpretive power Volynsky was one of the first to recognize. Rabinowitz also translates Volynsky s magnum opus, The Book of Exaltations, an elaborate meditation on classical dance technique that is at once a primer and an ideological treatise. Throughout his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his critical introduction, which sets Volynsky s life and work against the backdrop of the principal intellectual currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the spiritual and ethereal qualities of ballet. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780300124620

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2008. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Akim Volynsky was a Russian literary critic, journalist, and art historian who became Saint Petersburg s liveliest and most prolific ballet critic in the early part of the twentieth century. This book, the first English edition of his provocative and influential writings, provides a striking look at life inside the world of Russian ballet at a crucial era in its history. Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and translates forty of Volynsky s articles-vivid, eyewitness accounts that sparkle with details about the careers and personalities of such dance luminaries as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, and George Balanchine, at that time a young dancer in the Maryinsky company whose keen musical sense and creative interpretive power Volynsky was one of the first to recognize. Rabinowitz also translates Volynsky s magnum opus, The Book of Exaltations, an elaborate meditation on classical dance technique that is at once a primer and an ideological treatise. Throughout his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his critical introduction, which sets Volynsky s life and work against the backdrop of the principal intellectual currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the spiritual and ethereal qualities of ballet. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780300124620

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