Description : In Shapes of American Ballet: Teachers and Training before Balanchine, Jessica Zeller introduces the first few decades of the twentieth century as an often overlooked, yet critical period for ballet's growth in America. While George Balanchine is often considered the sole creator of American ballet, numerous European and Russian émigrés had been working for decades to build a national ballet with an American identity. These pedagogues and others like them played critical yet largely unacknowledged roles in American ballet's development. Despite their prestigious ballet pedigrees, the dance field's exhaustive focus on Balanchine has led to the neglect of their work during the first few decades of the century, and in this light, this book offers a new perspective on American ballet during the period immediately prior to Balanchine's arrival. Zeller uses hundreds of rare archival documents to illuminate the pedagogies of several significant European and Russian teachers who worked in New York City. Bringing these contributions into the broader history of American ballet recasts American ballet's identity as diverse-comprised of numerous Euro-Russian and American elements, as opposed to the work of one individual. This new account of early twentieth century American ballet is situated against a bustling New York City backdrop, where mass immigration through Ellis Island brought the ballet from European and Russian opera houses into contact with a variety of American forms and sensibilities. Ballet from celebrated Euro-Russian lineages was performed in vaudeville and blended with American popular dance styles, and it developed new characteristics as it responded to the American economy. Shapes of American Ballet delves into ballet's struggle to define itself during this rich early twentieth century period, and it sheds new light on ballet's development of an American identity before Balanchine.
Description : René Blum and the Ballets Russes documents the life of the enigmatic and brilliant writer and producer who resurrected the Ballets Russes after Diaghilev died. Based on a treasure trove of previously undiscovered letters and documents, the book not only tells the poignant story of Blum's life, but also illustrates the central role Blum played in the development of dance in the United States. Indeed, Blum's efforts to save his ballet company eventually helped to bring many of the world's greatest dancers and choreographers--among them Fokine, Balanchine, and Nijinska--to American ballet stages.
Description : The Ballets Russes in Australia and Beyond draws together essays by leading international and national scholars, who explore the rich legacy of the Ballets Russes. A dazzling array of pictures brings to life the sheer vitality of the companies in a way that makes the volume indispensable to balletomanes, scholars, and those fascinated by the synergies between the creative arts in general.
Description : Presents a look at the world of dance; an analysis of ballet movement, music, and history; a close-up look at popular ballets; and a host of performance tips.
Description : From mid-twentieth-century films such as Grand Hotel, Waterloo Bridge, and The Red Shoes to recent box-office hits including Billy Elliot, Save the Last Dance, and The Company, ballet has found its way, time and again, onto the silver screen and into the hearts of many otherwise unlikely audiences. In Dying Swans and Madmen, Adrienne L. McLean explores the curious pairing of classical and contemporary, art and entertainment, high culture and popular culture to reveal the ambivalent place that this art form occupies in American life. Drawing on examples that range from musicals to tragic melodramas, she shows how commercial films have produced an image of ballet and its artists that is associated both with joy, fulfillment, fame, and power and with sexual and mental perversity, melancholy, and death. Although ballet is still received by many with a lack of interest or outright suspicion, McLean argues that these attitudes as well as ballet's popularity and its acceptability as a way of life and a profession have often depended on what audiences first learned about it from the movies.
Description : Presents the life of Jerome Robbins who began as a modern dancer and went on to become an influential choreographer whose work changed the course of ballet and musical comedy in America.
Description : In the early 1960s, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was a small, multi-racial company of dancers that performed the works of its founding choreographer and other emerging artists. By the late 1960s, the company had become a well-known African American artistic group closely tied to the Civil Rights struggle. In Dancing Revelations, Thomas DeFrantz chronicles the troupe's journey from a small modern dance company to one of the premier institutions of African American culture. He not only charts this rise to national and international renown, but also contextualizes this progress within the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights struggles of the late 20th century. DeFrantz examines the most celebrated Ailey dances, including Revelations, drawing on video recordings of Ailey's dances, published interviews, oral histories, and his own interviews with former Ailey company dancers. Through vivid descriptions and beautiful illustrations, DeFrantz reveals the relationship between Ailey's works and African American culture as a whole. He illuminates the dual achievement of Ailey as an artist and as an arts activist committed to developing an African American presence in dance. He also addresses concerns about how dance performance is documented, including issues around spectatorship and the display of sexuality, the relationship of Ailey's dances to civil rights activism, and the establishment and maintenance of a successful, large-scale Black Arts institution. Throughout Dancing Revelations, DeFrantz illustrates how Ailey combined elements of African dance with motifs adapted from blues, jazz, and Broadway to choreograph his dances. By re-interpreting these tropes of black culture in his original and well-received dances, DeFrantz argues that Ailey played a significant role in defining the African American cultural canon in the twentieth century. As the first book to examine the cultural sources and cultural impact of Ailey's work, Dancing Revelations is an important contribution to modern dance history and criticism as well as African-American studies.
Description : The world-renowned Joffrey Ballet School makes the art and joy of ballet available to everyone. Let Dena Simone Moss and Allison Kyle Leopold teach you everything you need to know to get in shape, beautifully sculpt your body, and truly appreciate the art of ballet. They'll let you in on all their secrets, including: -A demystifying explanation of ballet terms and positions -Tips on finding the right instructor and studio-and feeling comfortable once you're there -Hints on ballet attire-including finding, choosing, and tying pointe shoes -An exhaustive directory of where to find ballet publications, audio and videotapes, books, dance wear, schools, and studios. Perfect for the beginner and the veteran balletomane, The Joffrey Ballet School's Ballet-Fit offers an inside glimpse into the mysterious and beautiful world of ballet.
Description : Introduces the basics of classic ballet, gives a brief history, tells how a ballet is prepared, and discusses the work of the choreographer, the technicians, and the designers.