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Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925 Paperback – May 25, 2010
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Volynsky is like many balletomanes fiercely opinionated. For instance he loathed the "revolutionary" ballets of Mikhail Fokine. He also loathed the modern dance movement of Isadora Duncan but praised Duncan's "lovely artistry." He follows up with this paean to Duncan's charisma: "Duncan is beautiful in the purity of her emotions, which inspire the viewer more rapidly than any other more perfect form of art." He was a fierce protector of Petipa and the purity of academic classical ballet.
The second half of the book is devoted to Volynsky's "The Book of Exaltations: The ABC's of Classical Dance." Think it sounds boring? It's not. Volynsky applies his voluminous knowledge of Greek classical culture to create the most vivid description about the basic structure of classical ballet. His essays on turnout, posture, croise vs. efface, are models not only of dance writing but of descriptive writing. Volynsky is knowledgable, passionate, opinionated, and a great writer. His book is a must-have.