Shapes of American Ballet: Teachers and Training before Balanchine (Paperback)
  • Shapes of American Ballet: Teachers and Training before Balanchine (Paperback)
zoom

Shapes of American Ballet: Teachers and Training before Balanchine (Paperback)

(author)
£30.99
Paperback 216 Pages / Published: 04/08/2016
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 1 week

  • This item has been added to your basket
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 emigres 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.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190296698
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 290 g
Dimensions: 229 x 157 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Using a wealth of archival sources, including dance manuals, newspaper and magazine articles, and interviews, Zeller focuses on pedagogy or, as she writes, 'the unspoken, underexamined element of the oral tradition' that is the 'unique working relationship of the dancer and pedagogue in the studio' (3). By taking stock of the various ballet teachers who lived, worked, trained and choreographed in the United States prior to Balanchine's arrival, Zeller indeed succeeds at 'offer[ing] a new telling of the history of American ballet' and 'refute[ing] the widespread notion that the period between 1909 and 1934 was 'largely barren ground' (1). * Jennie Scholick, DRJ *
[Jessica] Zeller offers many details about the development and teaching of each masters ballet curriculum. These are best appreciated by turning to the book itself. * Dance Chronicle *
At last we've a serious examination by Jessica Zeller of seven brave and resourceful ballet teachers from Russia and Italy who came here to initiate and catalyze their ballet traditions. It's been a missing link in studies of the major influences on the creation of our unique, contemporary American ballet. Located in New York City, their schools tempered and molded both the athletic bodies of Americans, and in so doing affected the bold choreography of our artists. Zeller's fluid and judicious writing brings to light the energy and pathos of early twentieth century dance history. * Judith Chazin-Bennahum, University of New Mexico *
The time is ripe to thoroughly dispel the notion that high-quality ballet training was absent from American shores in the first third of the twentieth century. Jessica Zeller does just that, introducing the context, teachers, philosophies, and markets that challenged and supported the establishment of ballet as a modern American art. * Lynn Matluck Brooks, Franklin & Marshall College *

You may also be interested in...

Life in Motion
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Hope in a Ballet Shoe
Added to basket
Diaghilev
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
Royal Ballet: A Season in Pictures
Added to basket
Ballet For Life
Added to basket
Yuli
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Darcey Bussell
Added to basket
Peril en Pointe
Added to basket
£6.99
Paperback
Ballet and Modern Dance
Added to basket
£10.95
Paperback
Ballerina Body
Added to basket
£16.99
Paperback
Ballerina Project
Added to basket
£29.00
Hardback
Darcey Bussell: Evolved
Added to basket
Marius Petipa
Added to basket
£22.99
Hardback
Yuli
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.