Presents the story of the Ballet Russes in the Diaghilev years, including an analysis of all the major works...
|Publisher||:||Ramboro Books PLC 1998|
|Number of Pages||:||192 pages|
|File Size||:||575 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Ballets Russes Reviews
Excellent book with lots of photos of Diaghilev, Nijinsky and other ballet stars of the Ballets Russes. Also included are many costume design sketches, photos of dancers in those costumes, and drawings and photos of costumes and backdrops and programs by Bakst and others. VERY interesting book. A keeper.
Richard Shead provides a serviceable chronicle of the Ballets' Russes tumultuous history, if one can get past his pompous style and emphasis on pure description. The blow-by-blow narrative gets mired in gratuitous minutiae and opinionated digressions, seemingly meant solely to demonstrate the erudition of the writer. The result resembles less a scholarly work than a sequential stack of playbills interspersed with alot of high-brow gossip (and, indeed, there was much to gossip about) He reserves particular venom for Njinsky's wife Ramola, whom he views as has having maliciously and selfishly robbed the world of a great light. All of this gets in the way of serious or in-depth analysis or discourse on the context, ethos, and influence of the Ballets Russes. Shead has little to say about the visual artists involved, their backgrounds and aesthetic beliefs, or their designs' timely integration of folkloric and modernist imagery. For example, he derides the collaboration between Picasso, Satie, and Cocteau as a dissonant battle between conceptual agendas, but seems utterly uninterested in what those agendas might have been, or how the historic moment of their intersection may have been significant. Yet, at the same time, the reader is bombarded by names, places, dates, and other details that could only appeal to a die-hard balletomaniac. The book is useful insomuch as it provides an almanac for ballet historians,.
It was OK. I was expecting the book to be in better shape. I miss the dust jacket but I guess that is why the price.
I very rarely buy a book for the pictures, unless it's a book about maps, gardening, or handicrafts. This book is a major exception. The Ballets Russes, lead by the great producer, Sergei Diaghilev was home or patron to the foremost dance and musical composition talents of the first half of the 20th century, the foremost being dancers Nijinsky and Leonide Massine and composers Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Darius Milhaud. What may be easily fogotten is the third leg of the company's artistic greatness, the graphic designs of Leon Bakst, who did most of the scenic and costume designs. This can easily be visualized in a moment from a scene in 'The Red Shoes', where the Diaghilev-like character approves the senic designer's drawings in a moment, as 'perfect, as usual'.