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Shapes of American BalletTeachers and Training before Balanchine$
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Jessica Zeller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190296681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190296681.001.0001

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Ballet as Migrant

Ballet as Migrant

From Italy and Russia to America

Chapter:
(p.9) Chapter 1 Ballet as Migrant
Source:
Shapes of American Ballet
Author(s):

Jessica Zeller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190296681.003.0002

This chapter examines ballet’s emigration from Italy and Russia and its immigration to the United States, thereby linking America’s ballet to its major predecessors. It traces the development of ballet’s regional identity in nineteenth-century Italy, and it examines ballet’s national identity in Russia’s imperial institutions throughout the Russian Revolution. Having held dominance in America since the mid-nineteenth century, Italian ballet ceded its foothold in the United States to the Russians starting in 1910; the Russians’ freer style of ballet resonated with Progressive Era Americans. The numerous efforts during the period to Americanize ballet drew from these two national traditions and brought uniquely American characteristics, including Africanist aesthetic contributions, to Euro-Russian ballet.

Keywords:   Italian ballet, Russian ballet, American ballet, national identity, Americanization, Russian Revolution, Africanist aesthetic

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