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Alla OsipenkoBeauty and Subversion in Soviet Ballet$
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Joel Lobenthal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190253707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190253707.001.0001

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(p.49) 6 Sidelined
Alla Osipenko

Joel Lobenthal

Oxford University Press

At nineteen, Osipenko was chosen to dance the leading role of the Lilac Fairy in a new production of The Sleeping Beauty staged by new Kirov artistic director Konstantin Sergeyev. The author compares Sergeyev’s Sleeping Beauty to the Kirov’s 1999 reconstruction of the Imperial production from choreographic notation made in 1903. Osipenko danced the dress rehearsal but later that night injured her leg getting off a bus, which kept her off the ballet stage for many months. By 1952 the Soviets had launched an aggressive program of cultural diplomacy, allowing exchanges between Soviet and foreign performers and companies. However, it was fraught with geopolitical tension, as witnessed by the cancellation of a star-studded gala of Russian ballet that was scheduled to appear at the Paris Opera Ballet in May 1954. It was canceled when French forces in Vietnam were vanquished.

Keywords:   Osipenko, Sergeyev, Sleeping Beauty, Vietnam

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