By Akim Volynsky, Prof. Stanley J. Rabinowitz
Akim Volynsky was once a Russian literary critic, journalist, and artwork historian who turned Saint Petersburg’s liveliest and such a lot prolific ballet critic within the early a part of the 20th century. This ebook, the 1st English version of his provocative and influential writings, offers a remarkable examine existence contained in the global of Russian ballet at an important period in its history.
Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and interprets 40 of Volynsky’s articles—vivid, eyewitness money owed that flicker with information about the careers and personalities of such dance luminaries as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, and George Balanchine, at the moment a tender dancer within the Maryinsky corporation whose prepared musical feel and artistic interpretive energy Volynsky used to be one of many first to acknowledge. Rabinowitz additionally interprets Volynsky’s magnum opus, The ebook of Exaltations, an complicated meditation on classical dance process that's instantly a primer and an ideological treatise. all through his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his serious advent, which units Volynsky’s existence and paintings opposed to the backdrop of the central highbrow currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the religious and airy traits of ballet.
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Extra resources for Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925
Gurevich, 4 November 1887, in Arkhiv L. Ia. Gurevich, RGALI, fond 131, op. 1, ed. khr. 104. Volynsky quoted in P. V. Kupriianovskii, ‘‘A Volynskii—Kritik,’’ in Tvorchestvo pisatelia i literaturnyi protsess (Ivanovo: Ivanovskii Gosudarstvennyi Universitet, 1978), 61. M. S. Korolitskii, A. L. Volynskii: Stranichki vospominanii (Leningrad: Academia, 1928), 22. A. L. Volynskii, letter to N. S. Leskov, 16 July 1892, quoted in P. V. Kupriianovskii, ‘‘Iz literaturno-zhurnal’noi polemiki 90-kh godov,’’ in Russkaia literatura XX veka: Dorevoliutsionnyi period (Sbornik statei) (Kaluga: Tul’skii Gosudarstvennyi Pedagogicheskii Institut, 1971), 12; Volynskii, letter to A.
L. Volynskii, Bor’ba za idealizm (Saint Petersburg: M. G. Molostvov, 1900), v. Along these lines, it is useful to ruminate on the description of Volynsky as ballet critic in Sholem Asch’s 1929 novel Petersburg. ), who closely parallels Volynsky’s aesthetic stance vis-à-vis ballet. After distinguishing church mice, theater mice, and cabaret mice, the narrator of Petersburg introduces Levinstein: ‘‘In spite of its consequence the cabaret mouse lives a solitary life, wanders as if in a dream through the world of reality, and is distinguished from all other species of the mouse world by its unquenchable thirst for the aesthetic.
In ballet literature from Jean-Georges Noverre to Carlo Blasis to the present day, there has not been one attempt at making sense of this vast mosaic of forms or at parsing them and explaining in a comprehensive, sustained, and logical way their conceptual thematics and the full variety of their intellectual and emotional features. And yet there is not a pas without a thought behind it—or, to put it more accurately, every pas in ballet, because of its combination of lines and movements, carries with it a speciﬁc idea from the world of the soul and the imagination, which at times ascends inﬁnitely over its trivial content, as this content is set forth in the libretto.
Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925 by Akim Volynsky, Prof. Stanley J. Rabinowitz