hi! ive been a fan of your blog for a long time but its my first time reaching out, i just want to thank you for all the info you are sharing with us, and your beautiful insight. i want to learn more about character dancing, ive been watching a lot of vaganova videos on youtube but im looking for some books about the history and the technical elements of it. i wish i could find one in english but im okay with russian too, if its easy to procure internationally. do you have any ideas? thank you!
Thank you so much! I’m so sorry it took me so long to respond to you.
If Russian isn’t an issue, then let me start you off with this two-part mini-documentary on character dance, narrated by the Bolshoi’s “character queen”, Yuliana Malkhasiants:
Malkhasiants goes through the history of character dance and lists all the major choreographers and dancers, who contributed to its development (she packs a lot of information into a relatively short program). You can use this mini-doco as the base for further research.
For my non-Russian speakers playing at home, here are the lists of some of the choreographers, ballet and specific variations you should look up / read up on if you’re interested in learning more about character dance (from the Russian perspective). I included links to as many videos of the ballets / variations as I could.
C H O R E O G R A P H E R S
- Marius Petipa
- Lev Ivanov
- Alexander Gorsky
- Michel Fokine
- Kasyan Goleizovsky
- Léonide Massine
- Fyodor Lopukhov
B A L L E T S
- La Bayadere (Marius Petipa)
- Don Quixote (Marius Petipa)
- Treugolka (Léonide Massine)
- Ice Maiden (Fyodor Lopukhov)
- Red Poppy, Act I (Fyodor Lopukhov)
Also, here’s another little segment on the subject of character dance (in Russian):
Also, once again assuming that you’re fine with Russian, please enjoy this document I’ve unearthed. It’s a Vaganova Ballet Academy teaching plan for their character dance unit (baccalaureate). It has a long list of required and recommended literature at the end.
I hope this provides a starting point for further research 🙂