Russian Former Soviet Union

Get Stage Fright: Politics and the Performing Arts in Late PDF

By Paul du Quenoy

ISBN-10: 027103467X

ISBN-13: 9780271034676

ISBN-10: 0271036486

ISBN-13: 9780271036489

In June 1920, assessing the foreign importance of the innovative period that had introduced him to energy in Russia, Vladimir Lenin followed a theatrical idiom for one in every of its most crucial occasions, the Revolution of 1905. “Without the ‘dress practice session’ of 1905,” he wrote, “the victory of the October Revolution in 1917 may were impossible.” in keeping with Lenin’s assertion, political anatomy borrowed in a teleological experience from the appearing arts.

This booklet explores an inversion of Lenin’s assertion. instead of query how politics took after the appearing arts, Paul du Quenoy assesses how tradition spoke back to strength in overdue imperial Russia. Exploring the effect of this period’s quick transformation and endemic turmoil at the appearing arts, he examines opera, ballet, concert events, and “serious” drama whereas now not overlooking more recent creative kinds thriving on the time, comparable to “popular” theater, operetta, cabaret, satirical revues, excitement backyard entertainments, and movie. He additionally analyzes how contributors within the Russian Empire’s cultural lifestyles articulated social and political views.

Du Quenoy proposes that acting arts tradition in past due imperial Russia—traditionally assumed to be seriously suffering from and aware of modern politics—was usually apathetic or even adversarial to involvement in political struggles. Stage Fright bargains the same refutation of the view that the overdue imperial Russian govt used to be a cultural censor prefiguring Soviet keep watch over of the humanities. via a transparent photo of the connection among tradition and gear, this learn provides past due imperial Russia as a modernizing polity with a lively civil society in a position to weathering the profound alterations of the 20th century instead of lurching towards an “inevitable” catastrophe of revolution and civil war.

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Additional info for Stage Fright: Politics and the Performing Arts in Late Imperial Russia

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Grigoriev, The Diaghilev Ballet, 1909–1929, trans. Vera Bowen (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960); and Lynn Garafola, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). 79. Diaghilev planned his annual tours to coincide with the end of the Russian Imperial Theaters’ regular seasons so the necessary performers would be available. ” Quoted in Steven G. Marks, How Russia Shaped the Modern World: From Art to Anti-Semitism, Ballet to Bolshevism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 182.

79 No less important was Diaghilev’s ability to exploit arts snobbery for profit, a talent he found more fruitful in the salons of Paris than those of St. Petersburg. 82 This esteem did not save the high-living Diaghilev from the occasional threat of bankruptcy; he even had to sell off the sets of his 1909 season. But it enabled him to bring some of Russia’s greatest performers to the West, often for higher 78. For good histories, see Lieven, Birth of the Ballets-Russes; S. L. Grigoriev, The Diaghilev Ballet, 1909–1929, trans.

106 Subsequent popular theater endeavors came from factory owners. In 1885 a group of St. Petersburg industrialists with factories on the city’s southern outskirts began offering entertainments for their employees. Its first year of activity included performances by military orchestras, acrobats, choruses, and other attractions of the “pleasure garden” variety. Formal presentations of plays were introduced in its second season. Incorporating their group in 1891 as the Nevskii Society for the Support of Popular Entertainment, they opened a small theater of about three hundred seats on the second floor of an extant wooden building, a free-standing summer theater for five hundred in 1896, and a sturdier brick theater for sixteen hundred just four years later.

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Stage Fright: Politics and the Performing Arts in Late Imperial Russia by Paul du Quenoy


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