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Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925 Hardcover – December 9, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An exhilarating gathering of writings by a profoundly influential critic, and a striking, startling contribution to the historical record."—Simon Morrison, Princeton University
(Simon Morrison)

“An extremely important contribution to the literature on dance.”—Lynn Garafola, author of The Ballet Russes and Its World
(Lynn Garafola)

“Volynsky's detailed and perceptive reviews of dancers and dancing at the Maryinsky Theater—until now unavailable in English—are fascinating and illuminating; his legendary Book of Exaltations turns out to be both as tendentious and as brilliant as its reputation suggested it was. In tackling and bringing to fruition this important project, Stanley Rabinowitz has performed an immense service to the dance literature."—Robert Gottlieb, author of George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker
(Robert Gottlieb)

“Only a scholar of Stanley Rabinowitz's erudition and experience could navigate the treacherous waters of Russian cultural politics in the early twentieth century, the tempestuous world of Russian and Soviet dance, and the thorny contradictions of Volynsky's thought and syntax to bring these invaluable documents into English. Dance is in his debt.”—Tim Scholl, author of Sleeping Beauty, a Legend in Progress
(Tim Scholl)

"Rabinowitz’s near-miraculous translations of this eccentric Russian critic/philosopher’s sequential reviews put the reader in the theater, and bring back to life perhaps the most important years in the history of ballet—those leading up to and beyond the great cataclysm of the Russian revolution. As Akim Volynsky wrestles with the meaning of an art, the art itself spills out into his pages. This is the best kind of history: written in the passion of a long-ago moment, interpreted for the present by a master scholar."—Elizabeth Kendall, author of Autobiography of a Wardrobe
(Elizabeth Kendall)

"This is a fantastic book. . . . The book is a must for anyone claiming a love of ballet. . . . [Volynsky's text] is always hugely entertaining and surprising, you will never look at a toeshoe, a tiara or a tendu . . . the same way again."—Toni Bentley, New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
(Toni Bentley New York Times Book Review 2009-01-25)

"The first English-language edition of some of the world's finest writings on ballet."—New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
(New York Times Book Review)

About the Author

Stanley J. Rabinowitz is Henry Steele Commager Professor and professor of Russian, Amherst College, and director of the Amherst Center for Russian Culture. He lives in Amherst, MA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (December 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300124627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300124620
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sima on March 22, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am so thrilled with this book that I want to kiss the translator's hands. The deep thinker, dance critic, art historian, AND ballet pedagogue Volynsky? Writings during a crucial period in Russian and ballet history? In English? Too good to be true... If only ballet would be taken so seriously today. It should be. It can withstand the intellectual rigor.
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By Sedulous on July 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Needed more interpretation by compiler
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Braswell on March 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter and son-in-law who were ballet dancers in an earlier time. Now they are interested in other forms of dance. I thought that it would be a good reminder of days gone by and they seemed delighted with the gift.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Judith Granite on December 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read the NY Times Book Review of this book and purchased it. It arrived in a timely manner, in excellent condition. It provides a unique perspective on a very significant period in ballet history.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles W. Mincer on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Excellent read.

Good details and overall professionalism.

Tocuh of Art in the composition.
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Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925
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