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Modern Dance

By | March 2013
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Summary Paper #1
Chapter 10 pgs. 169-182, Ballet
1. Who was Serge Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe? What were the innovations in ballet under Diaghilev?

The Ballet Russe was an American Ballet within the first period of the 20th century that was called “Russo-American era”. Dance scholar and author Lincoln Kirstein coined the term because touring Russian dance artist made a huge impact on American audience and dances. The Russian influence was because of Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Mordkin, and Serge Diaghilev. They showed the American audience what a legitimate ballet looked like. Serge Diaghilev was the founder of Ballets Russes. Serge grew up in Russia, and was interested in all arts as a child. He originally went to school to study law, but became interested in ballet through meeting Alexandre Benois and Leon Bakst. Ever since he became devoted to ballet and his company until his death in 1929. The beginning of his Ballet Russes came from “Saison Russe”, a series of Russian ballet and opera performances in Paris. Each season, Serge worked to develop avant-grade ballets. Which in turn would allow him to raise money for his ballets. Serge changed the ballet, as we know it today, by providing a full theatrical experience of ballet for the audience with scenery, costumes, and music.

2. List the five choreographers in the Ballet Russe that worked under Diaghilev and describe their choreographic work.

Michel Fokine was born in Russia, and was in the Imperial Ballet School in 1889. Fokine joined Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes as a dancer and choreographer. His ballets that he created were more dramatic in nature. Fokine wanted ballet to have an alliance with other arts, and thus he works reflected that. He brought back the males dancers as the main figure, and experimented with choreography. Fokine changed ballet from just entertainment but as an expressive art as well.

Anna Pavlova was also born in Russia, and was in the Imperial...
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