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Alla Osipenko : Beauty and Resistance in Soviet Ballet (Hardcover) (Joel Lobenthal)
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Alla Osipenko is the gripping story of one of history's greatest ballerinas, a courageous rebel who paid the price for speaking truth to the Soviet State.The daughter of a distinguished Russian aristocratic and artistic family, Osipenko was born in 1932 but was raised in a cocoon of pre-Revolutionary decorum and protocol. In Leningrad she studied with Agrippina Vaganova, the most revered and influential of all Russian ballet instructors. In 1950, she joined the Mariinsky (then-Kirov) Ballet, where her lines, shapes, and movements both exemplified the venerable traditions of Russian ballet and propelled those traditions forward into uncharted and experimental realms. She was the first of her generation of Kirov stars to enchant the West when she danced in Paris in 1956. Five years later, she was a key figure in the sensational success of the Kirov in its European debut.But dancing for the establishment had its downsides, and Osipenko's sharp tongue and marked independence, as well as her almost-reckless flouting of Soviet rules for personal and political conduct, soon found her all but quarantined in Russia. An internationally acclaimed ballerina at the height of her career, she found that she would now have to prevail in the face of every attempt by the Soviet state and the Kirov administration to humble her, even as her friends and schoolmates (including Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov) defected to the West.In Alla Osipenko, acclaimed dance writer Joel Lobenthal tells Osipenko's story for the first time in English, drawing on 40 interviews with theprima ballerina, and tracing her life from Classical darling to avant-garde rebel. Throughout the book, Osipenko talks frankly and freely in a way that few Russians of her generation have allowed themselves to. She discusses her traumatic relationship to the Soviet state, her close but often-fraught relationship with her family, her four husbands, her lovers, her colleagues, and her son's arrest in Leningrad and his subsequent death. Her voice rises above the incidents as unhesitating and graceful as her legendary adagios. Candid, irreverent, and, above all, independent -- Osipenko and her story open a window into a fascinating and little-discussed world.
Number of Pages: 261
Genre: Performing Arts, Biography + Autobiography, History
Sub-Genre: Dance / Classical, Europe / Russia + the Former Soviet Union, Entertainment + Performing Arts
Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
Author: Joel Lobenthal
Street Date: December 1, 2015
Item Number (DPCI): 248-03-5405
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