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Balanchine and the Lost MuseRevolution and the Making of a Choreographer$
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Elizabeth Kendall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199959341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199959341.001.0001

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Theater School: The Hungry Years

Theater School: The Hungry Years

(p.113) Seven Theater School: The Hungry Years
Balanchine and the Lost Muse

Elizabeth Kendall

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes events from 1918 to 1920. Early 1918 was marked by continued political turmoil and widespread poverty in the city. Georges, almost fourteen, sewed saddles, ran messages for banks, and played piano in a little movie theater. The girls who weure no longer at the school learned to do things a ballet education had spared them: stand in a food line, light a stove with chair legs, and boil potato peels in water to make soup. In mid-fall, Anatoly Lunacharsky, together with longtime friend Ivan Vasilievich Ekskuzovich, managed to reopen not just the Theater School but its dormitories and kitchens—an event that saved the careers of Lidochka, Georges, and their whole generation. By the fall of 1919, Georges, Lidochka, and their classmates settled back into the routine of ballet class. On May 5, 1920, Georges and Lidochka made their performance breakthroughs together in The Magic Flute.

Keywords:   George Balanchine, Anatoly Lunacharsky, Ivan Vasilievich Ekskuzovich, Imperial Theater School, ballet, Lidochka, Lidia Ivanova

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