Download Alla Osipenko: Beauty and Resistance in Soviet Ballet by Joel Lobenthal PDF

By Joel Lobenthal

Alla Osipenko is the gripping tale of 1 of history's maximum ballerinas, a brave insurgent who paid the fee for talking fact to the Soviet country. She studied with Agrippina Vaganova, the main respected and influential of all Russian ballet teachers, and in 1950, she joined the Mariinsky (then-Kirov) Ballet, the place her strains, shapes, and routine either exemplified the venerable traditions of Russian ballet and propelled these traditions ahead into uncharted and experimental nation-states.

She used to be the 1st of her new release of Kirov stars to enchant the West whilst she danced in Paris in 1956. yet dancing for the institution had its downsides, and Osipenko's sharp tongue and marked independence, in addition to her almost-reckless flouting of Soviet principles for private and political behavior, quickly came across her all yet quarantined in Russia. An across the world acclaimed ballerina on the top of her occupation, she came upon that she could now need to be successful within the face of each try by means of the Soviet nation and the Kirov management to humble her.

In Alla Osipenko, acclaimed dance author Joel Lobenthal tells Osipenko's tale for the 1st time in English, drawing on forty interviews with the prima ballerina, and tracing her existence from Classical darling to avant-garde insurgent. during the booklet, Osipenko talks frankly and freely in a manner that few Russians of her new release have allowed themselves to. Her voice rises above the incidents as unhesitating and sleek as her mythical adagios. Candid, irreverent, and, mainly, self sufficient -- Osipenko and her tale open a window right into a attention-grabbing and little-discussed international.

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Additional info for Alla Osipenko: Beauty and Resistance in Soviet Ballet

Sample text

For three weeks students spent most of their time together. He flirted with all three girls, but among them Osipenko considered Angelina Karbarova the most beautiful. She assumed that he was really pursuing her. As their vacation came to an end, she hid in the bushes and cried, afraid that she would never see him again. Sometime later in her apartment in Leningrad, the phone rang: “Hello, you probably don’t remember me …” Nahumov had come to Leningrad to shoot his first film, Taras Shevchenko, which he was co-directing.

She still couldn’t move her neck entirely the way he wanted; he wished her to be more human, more vulnerable, fluid. He impressed on her that the position of the head and the neck made the greatest impression on an audience. He looked for continuation between extended leg and extended arm. She had a good extension; Zlata Bayaeva, a classmate, later recalled that people would watch class especially to see Osipenko’s raised leg in ecarté. But it was gradations rather than maximum height that Jacobson was concerned with as he molded her arabesques, solo and supported, in the duet.

Amazingly, he did just that. But although performance opportunities abroad arose, she was never allowed to leave the USSR over the next six years. That fall, Osipenko entered the Kirov as a member of the corps de ballet. The opera house that was to be her professional base for the next twenty years was located on Theatre Square a few blocks off the Moika canal, lined with huge homes that made it one of the most privileged of Imperial neighborhoods. Ticket prices were subsidized by the state, and the theater was an immense source of pride to Leningraders from all walks of life.

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