By Joel Lobenthal
Alla Osipenko is the gripping tale of 1 of history's maximum ballerinas, a brave insurgent who paid the fee for conversing fact to the Soviet country. She studied with Agrippina Vaganova, the main respected and influential of all Russian ballet teachers, and in 1950, she joined the Mariinsky (then-Kirov) Ballet, the place her strains, shapes, and activities either exemplified the venerable traditions of Russian ballet and propelled these traditions ahead into uncharted and experimental nation-states.
She was once the 1st of her new release of Kirov stars to enchant the West while she danced in Paris in 1956. yet dancing for the institution had its downsides, and Osipenko's sharp tongue and marked independence, in addition to her almost-reckless flouting of Soviet principles for private and political behavior, quickly discovered her all yet quarantined in Russia. An across the world acclaimed ballerina on the top of her occupation, she came upon that she may now need to be successful within the face of each try by means of the Soviet country and the Kirov management to humble her.
In Alla Osipenko, acclaimed dance author Joel Lobenthal tells Osipenko's tale for the 1st time in English, drawing on forty interviews with the prima ballerina, and tracing her lifestyles from Classical darling to avant-garde insurgent. through the e-book, Osipenko talks frankly and freely in a manner that few Russians of her iteration have allowed themselves to. Her voice rises above the incidents as unhesitating and swish as her mythical adagios. Candid, irreverent, and, in particular, self reliant -- Osipenko and her tale open a window right into a interesting and little-discussed international.
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Additional resources for Alla Osipenko: Beauty and Resistance in Soviet Ballet
She would go abroad whenever she wanted. Her response was a slap. With that his mood drastically shifted. “I will never forget this,” he warned her. “As long as I am alive you will stay in Leningrad. ” To this day, dance competition awards mean more in Russia than they do even in Europe or America, despite the fact that they are frequently blighted by the most blatant corruption. A school administrator invited her to his study and expressed his regret that she hadn’t won anything in Prague. The astonished Osipenko corrected him.
They argued and in retrospect she said that it marked the real beginning of their adult conflicts. 4 Vaganova t h e f a l l of 1948, Osipenko reached the most exacting teacher of all: Agrippina Vaganova herself. Then sixty-nine, the great teacher led a senior girls’ class at the school at 9:30 every morning, and then, also at the school, company class for the Kirov’s women soloists and principal dancers shortly before noon. Vaganova headed the school together with another outstanding teacher, Vladimir Ponomarev, but she was the strongest influence.
For a while, Osipenko’s grades dipped in academic subjects as well as ballet, but for different reasons altogether. For academics, she had now matriculated into the “A” division, whereas before she had been part of the “B” group. The “A” students were less studious. Rather than stand out, she tried instead to deliberately downplay her readiness in class. Her academic decline aroused concern among the faculty, until it was decided that she would be sent back to academic class in the “B” division, and a concomitant improvement in her school work resulted.
Alla Osipenko: Beauty and Resistance in Soviet Ballet by Joel Lobenthal