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Behind the Scenes at the Ballets Russes: Stories from a Golden Age

by Michael Meylac I.B.Tauris
Pub Date:
Hbk 288 pages
AU$54.99 NZ$60.86
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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The Ballets Russes was perhaps the most iconic, yet at the same time enigmatic, ballet company of the twentieth century. Following the death of their founder Sergei Diaghilev in 1929, the company split into two separate groups – the Ballets Russes de Colonel de Basil and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. In the mid-twentieth century – during the tumultuous years of World War II and the Cold War – the Ballets Russes companies kept the spirit and traditions of Russian ballet alive

in the West, touring extensively in America, Europe and Australia.


This groundbreaking new book uncovers previously unseen

conversations with the leading protagonists of the companies,

primarily with the dancers themselves, but also with choreographers, instructors and critics. Through the dancers’ own words, Michael Meylac reveals what life was really like for the stars of the Ballets Russes and provides fascinating new insights into some of the most important dance events of the twentieth century – including Nureyev’s defection to the West. In doing so, he provides insights into the lives of the great figures of the age – from the dancers Anna Pavlova and Alicia Markova to the choreographers Leonide Massine, George Balanchine and Anton Dolin. Meylac has interviewed some

of the greatest dancers of the period including Alexandra Danilova, Nina Vyroubova and the three ‘baby ballerinas’, as well as those who kept the company running behind the scenes such as Roland Petit and Pierre Lacotte.


Providing unique insights into many of the greatest names in

twentieth-century dance, this book will be essential reading for all ballet fans.
Michael Meylac color="#231F20">is Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Strasbourg. He is the author of editions and studies of the Oberiou poets and of studies on the Provençal troubadours.