Léonide Massine and the 20th Century Ballet

Overview

The great Russian choreographer Léonide Massine was the most important figure in modernist ballet in the 1930s, known for works such as Gaîté Parisienne and The Three-Cornered Hat. His versatility and scope made his choreography the most representative of the century. Whatever period he portrayed, his style flowed freely and unselfconsciously. His character ballets dealt not with stereotypes but individuals, and his symphonic ballets proved how great music could be employed without demeaning it. Like his mentor ...
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Overview

The great Russian choreographer Léonide Massine was the most important figure in modernist ballet in the 1930s, known for works such as Gaîté Parisienne and The Three-Cornered Hat. His versatility and scope made his choreography the most representative of the century. Whatever period he portrayed, his style flowed freely and unselfconsciously. His character ballets dealt not with stereotypes but individuals, and his symphonic ballets proved how great music could be employed without demeaning it. Like his mentor Diaghilev, he strove to bring music, painting, and poetry to his ballets. Massine was responsible for the first resolutely abstract ballet and the first true fusions of ballet and modern dance.

This work provides a biography of Massine and a detailed analysis of his major ballets, including those for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and American Ballet Theatre. The work integrates biographical study with an examination of Massine's works from an array of perspectives. By examining the music and composers, set design, and literary sources, it places the work in the larger context of the dance, opera, major visual art movements, literature, and theater of the period. Analyses of ballets include synopses, scenery and costumes, music, choreography, critical survey, and summary. The work concludes with an epilogue summarizing Massine's impact on the development of ballet in the twentieth century, and includes both informal and performance photographs.

Leslie Norton is associate professor in dance at Hamilton College Theatre and Dance Department, and lives in Clinton, New York.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786417520
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/5/2004
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Leslie Norton was an associate professor in dance at the Hamilton College Theatre and Dance Department and lived in Clinton, New York.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 1
1 July 1895-May 1917 5
2 June 1917-June 1920 47
3 July 1920-April 1926 79
4 June 1927-January 1932 107
5 May 1932-July 1936 135
6 August 1936-May 1939 191
7 June 1939-February 1943 231
8 March 1943-October 1954 273
9 July 1955-July 1960 305
10 The Final Years 327
Epilogue 333
Notes 339
Bibliography 359
Index 365
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