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Booklovers Only
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Author:  d'ici_de la [ Mon Apr 08, 2002 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Booklovers Only

Went into the city and looked into the Brattle Book Shop (used books). The ballet section has expanded but did not find the reference I was looking for. But I found some minor treasures: Margot Fonteyn, Dancers of Today No.1 and Alicia Markova, No.6 both by A. C. Black , London 1954. Slim volumes, mainly photographs. Interesting comment that Fonteyn’s title is in blue and Markova’s in silver. Speculation that Pavlova’s would be gold? The third book: Days With Ulanova by Albert Kahn , 1962, is a substantial examination of Ulanova’s carrier, interesting record of a strange and bygone era of Russian dance.

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

I have the Days with Ulanova book and I treasure it.<P>It has one of my favorite quotes in it.

Author:  djb [ Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

Is your favorite quote by any chance "Talent is work"? I like that one. I grew up with "Days With Ulanova." It was one of my favorite ballet books.<P>I recently found a slim, photo-filled book about Svetlana Beriosova, from the fifties (I don't recall the author's name). It's interesting that at the time the book was published, an illustrious future as the successor to Fonteyn was predicted for Beriosova. As fate would have it, Fonteyn's career was unexpectedly prolonged by Nureyev's arrival, and Beriosova, as I recall, faded into the background while younger ballerinas such as Antoinette Sibley and Merle Park came to the forefront. Can anyone tell me whether my recollection is correct?<P>Anyway, the book is full of great pictures. Beriosova was certainly photogenic, and apparently was a popular subject in the society pages.

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Apr 08, 2002 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

The quote I remember from "Days with Ulanova" is a different one. It has been many years since I read the book, and my memory might be faulty. But as I recall it, the author was following her around in her daily life in preparation for writing this book.<P>One day which was a national holiday - all the dancers were off - the studios at the Bolshoi were closed, everything was closed. To the author's surprise, the ballerina went to the studios - the empty closed studios. She turned on the lights, and began to give herself a ballet barre and center.<P>Albert Kahn (the author) asked her why since it was a national holiday she didn't take the day off like everyone else? Her answer "I need the work". <P>Such a simple answer. Such a simple testament to why she was the prima ballerina assoluta that she was. <P>I agree with your assessment of Svetlana Beriosova. In the book "The Art of the Royal Ballet" by Keith Money, there are some stunning pictures of her in practice clothes on pages 88 to 94, with Donald MacLeary. I had the good fortune to see her perform Swan Lake, and have to say she was a wonderful dancer of the first order.

Author:  trina [ Tue Apr 09, 2002 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

"Days With Ulanova" is indeed a treasure. The photos in particular, showing her as a "real person", in the gorgeous Russian countryside, is like something from a Chekhov novel. And also the account of her coaching the younger dancer was wonderful. I keep finding it at used bookstores and not buying it...duh! The problem is my house is overflowing with books. I lift up a dish towel, there's a book. At the bottom of a laundry basket, there's a book! OY!! Not enough time in the days to read everything!

Author:  djb [ Sun Apr 21, 2002 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

I recently bought several old ballet books at the Abandoned Planet bookstore in San Francisco (my favorite bookstore because of the store's two cats, one of which is an Abyssinian).<P>"Fonteyn, Impressions of a Ballerina" (1952) by former Royal Ballet designer William Chappell, is chock full of photographs by Cecil Beaton. I haven't started reading it yet, but the photographs, most of which are new to me, are wonderul. The camera certainly loved this woman.<P>Another book, which I have started reading, is "Ballet Technique" (1956) by Tamara Karsavina. There's a beautiful photo portrait of her in evening dress. I can't see enough of the dress to guess the date, but her hair is silvery, and she looks very beautiful and glamorous. The other photographs in the book are primarily of Royal Ballet dancers. Beriosova is used to demonstrate points Karsavina makes in the text.<P>I thought Karsavina's comments on how the nature of "Giselle" has changed are interesting.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The fairly accurate revival of Coralli's masterpiece, well done as it is, yet has lost much of its original style. It took me some time to puzzle out why the same choreography, the same set of steps, are not the same any more in their effect and in their emotional value. It is because the choreography of <I>Giselle</I> has been transposed into another key. Originally composed for a dancer of exceptional lightness, it was in my time reserved for ballerinas with more than average elevation. This seems to be no longer so. Bringing <I>Giselle</I> down to the level of any technically accomplished dancer meant a sacrifice of its sublime feature, its spiritualised lightness. <I>Giselle</I> does not easily adapt itself to the means of a <I>terre à terre</I> dancer. In order to make such an adaptation many rhythms have to be quickened.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It seems to me that this must be so even more today, when the fashion in ballerinas seems to be turning toward the exceptionally flexible body with very arched feet and very hyperextended legs. This type of dancer is seldom known for elevation. When I saw SFB's "Giselle," I thought the ballerina who was best suited, technically, to the part was Tina LeBlanc. This was partly because of her high, light jumps, but also because her pointe work looks so lifted out of her feet that it reminds me of the original idea of pointe work, i.e., the dancer is so ethereal that she's ready to float right off the floor.<p>[This message has been edited by djb (edited April 21, 2002).]

Author:  d'ici_de la [ Sun Apr 21, 2002 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

djb,<BR>Could I ask what you paid for "Ballet Technique" (1956) by Tamara Karsavina, and who is the publisher?<BR>TIA

Author:  Maggie [ Sun Apr 21, 2002 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

d'ici, I have that book, and I paid $3.50 for it in 1973. It has the cover, which lists several other books on the back. he publisher is Theatre Arts Books, which was located at 333 Sixth Ave. NY. Copyrighted in 1956, first published by TAB in 1969.

Author:  djb [ Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

The contents of the book are the same, I suppose, but just for the record, mine is the 1957 reprinting, published in London by Adam and Charles Black. And I paid $6.47 for it, and how that price was arrived at for a used book, I don't know.<p>[This message has been edited by djb (edited April 21, 2002).]

Author:  Basheva [ Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

I thought I had the book you are all speaking of by Karsavina, but I can't find it (my books are in three different places), but I do have "Classical Ballet: The Flow of Movement" by Tamara Karsavina, Theatre Arts Books, New York, 1973.<P>It's quite a wonderful book, with heavy silk pages. Antoinette Sibley is used as the model.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 21, 2002).]

Author:  d'ici_de la [ Mon Apr 22, 2002 6:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

Thank you all for the Tamara Karsavina. I found a copy and the price has gone up: domestic $10 – 30, London editions, $ 20 – 40, so hold on to your copies, especially 1st. editions.<BR>Does any one own, BALLETS RUSSES LES SOUVENIRS DE TAMAR KARSAVINA, and if so, your opinion please.<BR>

Author:  Basheva [ Sat Apr 27, 2002 6:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

I decided to list all my books in a database in the computer, so I can keep track of what I have. My books are spread out in three different places - some are so large (like the picture/photograph books) and some are very small. So I tend to lose track.<P>Anywaaaaaaay....I came across one called "Dance as Life, A Season with American Ballet Theatre" by Franklin Stevens.<P>On the frontespiece there is a facsimile of the members of the Company (as it would appear in the program) as it was in 1974. It's very interesting. Fernando Bujones is listed as a soloist - not yet a principal. Roman Jasinski is an apprentice. Clark Tippett and Michael Owen are corps de ballet.<P>What struck me was how few of the corps de ballet - or even the soloists - made it to principal.

Author:  djb [ Sat Apr 27, 2002 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

I think that must be common in companies that regularly import principal dancers (e.g., San Francisco Ballet).

Author:  Basheva [ Mon Apr 29, 2002 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

Well, I am continuing to work through my collection of dance books. Lots and lots of them I didn't even remember I had!<P>One that I especially love is an oversize book called "100 Years of Dance Posters", by Waler Terry and Jack Rennert, Avon Publishers, 1975.<P>It starts with a 1879 poster of "Grand Ballet Cendrillion" and goes to "Seventh International Ballet Competition" (Varna) 1974. Lots of Diaghelev but it covers all forms of dance and from all over the world. Really some marvelous art work - very very eye catching. Every one of them is a work of art.<P>Does anyone else have this book?<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 29, 2002).]

Author:  Jillana [ Mon Apr 29, 2002 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Booklovers Only

I treasure a very small, thin, paperback book "By George Balanchine". It contains quotations by Mr. Balanchine. Some are very serious and others quite humorous. ie: "The greatest music is never far from dancing" or "I like tall people. I'll tell you why I like tall people. It's because you can see more".<p>[This message has been edited by Jillana (edited April 29, 2002).]

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