The Ballets Russes and Beyond

The Ballets Russes and Beyond : Music and Dance in Belle-Epoque Paris

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Belle-epoque Paris witnessed the emergence of a vibrant and diverse dance scene, one that crystallized around the Ballets Russes, the Russian dance company formed by impresario Sergey Diaghilev. The company has long served as a convenient turning point in the history of dance, celebrated for its revolutionary choreography and innovative productions. This book presents a fresh slant on this much-told history. Focusing on the relation between music and dance, Davinia Caddy approaches the Ballets Russes with a wide-angled lens that embraces not just the choreographic, but also the cultural, political, theatrical and aesthetic contexts in which the company made its name. In addition, Caddy examines and interprets contemporary French dance practices, throwing new light on some of the most important debates and discourses of the day.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 24 b/w illus. 15 music examples
  • 1139368958
  • 9781139368957

Table of contents

1. Introduction: Le Genie de la danse; 2. Ballet at the Opera and La Fete chez Therese; 3. Nijinsky's Faune revisited; 4. Metaphors of invasion: the Ballets Russes and the French press; 5. Beyond and behind Le Coq d'or.
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Review quote

'This richly absorbing study of the Ballets Russes in Paris illuminates the interplay (both synthesis and disjunction) between music and gesture in modernist choreography on the lyric stage. Davinia Caddy makes a vital and beautifully written contribution to our understanding of ways of using the body in opera and ballet in the early twentieth century.' Susan Rutherford, University of Manchester 'Elegantly written, meticulously researched, The Ballets Russes and Beyond is a major contribution, offering fresh perspectives on Diaghilev's troupe and its impact. With keen insight and broad vision, Davinia Caddy illuminates the meaning of dance in belle-epoque Paris and immerses the reader in a culture of beauty, innovation, and artistic intrigue.' Mary E. Davis, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio 'Fresh perspective ... an interpretative study that reaps rich rewards ... this book will inspire many other interrogative and revisionist accounts to come of the Russian Ballet, and of twentieth-century dance more generally.' Emma Adlard, Notes 'This fascinating book is supported by visual examples and a copious bibliography. Much wider reading is provided in the footnotes (which readily links theoretical writings to the issues raised in the press) and French quotations are clearly translated and presented as parallel texts. The book will be of interest to scholars (and students) in music, musicology, dance history and art history. It is a significant and refreshing contribution to the field.' Helen Julia Minors, Slavonic and East European Review
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About Davinia Caddy

Davinia Caddy is Senior Lecturer at the School of Music, University of Auckland. Her articles and reviews have appeared in publications including the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 19th-Century Music, the Cambridge Opera Journal, Music and Letters and Opera Quarterly.
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