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Marius PetipaThe Emperor's Ballet Master$
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Nadine Meisner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190659295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190659295.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021

At Home and at Work

At Home and at Work

(p.159) 7 At Home and at Work
Marius Petipa

Nadine Meisner

Oxford University Press

After a description of Petipa’s home life and six children with his new partner, Liubov Savitskaya, chapter 7 continues the previous chapter’s subject of Petipa’s aesthetic. It examines his working methods, his dance language, the importance of the ballerina’s variation and her primacy in nineteenth-century ballet, to the point that women sometimes appeared en travesti. Petipa’s principal ballerina in the 1870s was Ekaterina Vazem, made prominent not only by her own talent, but by the decision not to invite foreign ballerinas. Although less important than the ballerina, the male dancer in Russia enjoyed more prominence than in the West. Even so, he was treated differently: where ballerinas fused the two components of dance and mime, for men they were often separated, the performer specializing in one or the other. Among the ballets, Mlada and its influence on La Bayadère are considered in detail. The chapter ends with Petipa’s ballet, Night and Day, for the coronation of Alexander III, following the assassination of Alexander II.

Keywords:   Alexander II, primacy of the ballerina, choreographic language, the classical variation, the male dancer, Ekaterina Vazem, Mlada, La Bayadère

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