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The Ballets Russes and Beyond
Music and Dance in Belle-Époque Paris

$39.99 (C)

Part of New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism

  • Date Published: October 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316623633

$ 39.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Belle-époque Paris witnessed the emergence of a vibrant and diverse dance scene, one that crystallized around the Ballets Russes, the Russian dance company formed by impresario Sergey Diaghilev. The company has long served as a convenient turning point in the history of dance, celebrated for its revolutionary choreography and innovative productions. This book presents a fresh slant on this much-told history. Focusing on the relation between music and dance, Davinia Caddy approaches the Ballets Russes with a wide-angled lens that embraces not just the choreographic, but also the cultural, political, theatrical and aesthetic contexts in which the company made its name. In addition, Caddy examines and interprets contemporary French dance practices, throwing new light on some of the most important debates and discourses of the day.

    • Represents an important and provocative revision in dance historiography, encouraging readers to think afresh about well-known dance practices and productions
    • Situates music and dance within a variety of contexts - theatrical, cultural, intellectual, aesthetic and even scientific - specific to the period, presenting a wide-angled view of the contemporary scene and the interrelations between the arts, society and culture
    • Presents an antidote to the broadly acknowledged innovations of the Ballets Russes, opening up new lines of enquiry, and situating the Russian company at the centre of intense debate within the French press
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance Praise:
    "This richly absorbing study of the Ballets Russes in Paris illuminates the interplay (both synthesis and disjunction) between music and gesture in modernist choreography on the lyric stage. Davinia Caddy makes a vital and beautifully written contribution to our understanding of ways of using the body in opera and ballet in the early twentieth century."
    --Dr Susan Rutherford, University of Manchester --Choice

    "Celebrated for its innovative modernist choreography and groundbreaking productions, the company serves as an excellent platform for the author's fresh perspective on the meaning of dance in this period."
    "Caddy opens up new areas for debate in her contribution to the literature on this mesmerizing company."

    Caddy’s monograph is sure to have a determining influence on musicology’s engagement with dance. With its broad reach and interdisciplinary focus, the book will appeal not only to musicologists and dance researchers, but also to art historians, theater specialists and literary scholars. As Caddy states in her introduction, The Ballets Russes and Beyond “strives to raise more questions than it answers” (p. 24); I have no doubt that this book will inspire many other interrogative and revisionist accounts to come of the Russian Ballet, and of twentieth-century dance more generally. It is to Caddy’s great credit to make a provocative intervention of this sort."

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316623633
    • length: 254 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 15 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Le Génie de la danse
    2. Ballet at the Opéra and La Fête chez Thérèse
    3. Nijinsky's Faune revisited
    4. Metaphors of invasion: the Ballets Russes and the French press
    5. Beyond and behind Le Coq d'or.

  • Author

    Davinia Caddy, University of Auckland
    Davinia Caddy is Senior Lecturer at the School of Music, University of Auckland. Her articles and reviews have appeared in publications including the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 19th-Century Music, the Cambridge Opera Journal, Music and Letters and Opera Quarterly.

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