There are so many books about ballet that it can be difficult for a lay public to make sense out of this diversity. Anastasia Isaeva, prima ballerina and expert of the IngoDance portal, tells about the most significant of them.
Books by Krasovskaya Vera Mikhailovna
Vera Mikhailovna was a student of the famous teacher - Vaganova Agrippina Yakovlevna, after whom the Academy of Russian Ballet in Saint Petersburg was named. She worked at the Kirovsky Theater (now the Mariinsky Theater), and then graduated from the Department of Theatre Studies of the Theatre Institute.
The high professionalism of the artist, deep knowledge of the history of ballet and knowledge of foreign languages helped Krasovskaya to become a significant author - to this day, professionals recognize the importance of her work.
It is difficult to single out individual book within the framework of the review - literally each one deserves a separate article. Therefore, first of all, you should focus on the period and country that are most interesting to you. One of the most important works of Krasovskaya is the fundamental history of Russian ballet. It is described in several books: Russian Ballet Theater, History of Russian Ballet and others. If you want to find out more about European, and namely English, ballet, the publication Western European Ballet Theater is what you need.
Krasovskaya’s books are suitable for those who want to gain fundamental, deep understanding of the path of ballet development. And books dedicated to individual personalities, such as Anna Pavlova. Pages of the Life of a Russian Dancer, Nijinsky, Vaganova and others, help to get a more complete picture not only of the artist, but also of the events that took place during his or her life.
Scheien Sheng, Russian Seasons Forever
Sergei Diaghilev’s Russian Seasons not only became known all over the world, opened new names to the general public, but also completely turned the course of the history of ballet development. To date, Sheng’s book is the most voluminous and complete work about the famous impresario.
Scheien Sheng worked as a cultural attaché at the Dutch embassy in Moscow and is one of the leading specialists in Russian culture and history of the ХХ century. The author’s brilliant education and encyclopedic knowledge helped him write a book that would be interesting for everyone who wants to truly experience this historical period.
The book is written in vital style and makes you a witness to real events, it contains a large number of Diaghilev's letters, quotes, critical articles and memoirs of contemporaries. You will learn many unusual details of the life of outstanding people from Diaghilev’s social circle and “take a tour” into the history of Tsarist Russia, its society, culture and customs.
Marius Petipa, Marius Petipa. Materials. Memories. Articles
Petipa Marius Ivanovich is called the father of Russian classics. Being French by birth, he was Russian in scale of accomplishments and rich heritage left in the history of ballet art.
Petipa worked at the Mariinsky Theater for 60 years, he witnessed the change of four emperors, he was creatively prolific and raised classical ballet to an unprecedented level. The production of The Sleeping Beauty is still considered an iconic piece, a kind of alphabet of classical choreography.
The book has two parts: the first one is memoirs, the second one is memories of Petipa. The letters of the great ballet master are exceptionally interesting. They reveal his character and help to trace the birth of another masterpiece.
The second part of the book will not only help the reader to form a complete view of the work of a genius, but will also provide an opportunity to understand the nuances of his choreography, since the Petipa’s work are evaluated by the persons who inscribed their names in the history of ballet. Thanks to the book, the understanding of the work of the “Russian Frenchman” will become completely different - more complete, meaningful - and you will certainly get more pleasure while watching his ballets.