Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia Paperback – 1 Mar 2013
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"As dramatic as any of the grand ballets, Ezrahi's investigation delves into the storied past of Russian ballet as the paragon of choreographic and balletic superiority and as a symbol of cultural supremacy under the Soviet regime. . . . Not only for ballet aficionados and history buffs, the author's effort is a distinguished and intricate view of the intersection of art and politics. In the end, Ezrahi proves that even though art may be political, great art is not only deceitful and complex, but can rise above any ideology.""--ForeWord Reviews"
About the Author
Christina Ezrahi is an independent scholar and historian of Russian culture.
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Unlike some academic books or a PhD thesis turned into a book Swans of the Kremlin, is an easy to read study that offers a fascinating glimpse at the collision of art and politics during the volatile first fifty years of the Soviet period. Ezrahi shows how the producers and performers of Russia's two major companies, the Mariinsky (later Kirov) and the Bolshoi, quietly but effectively resisted Soviet cultural hegemony during this period.
Despite all controls put on them, they managed to maintain the classical forms and traditions of their rich artistic past and to further develop their art form. These aesthetic and professional standards proved to be the power behind the ballet's worldwide appeal. These two companies soon became the showpiece of Soviet cultural achievement, as they captivated Western audiences during the Cold War period. Based on her extensive research into official archives, and personal interviews with artists and staff, she documents their struggles in the post-revolutionary period, during the golden age of the 1950s and 1960s, and concludes with their monumental productions staged to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the revolution in 1968.Read more ›