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Professor, Theatre and Performance Studies Department, Stanford University,

will give a talk:



at Pushkin House


• Wednesday, February 18, 2015  • 7:30pm - 9:00pm


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  • 2 weeks later...
That was a very interesting and well-structured lecture by Janice Ross about the talented choreographer who at the time when all arts in the U.S.S.R., including ballet, were highly politicised, was serving the art of ballet in his own way. An interesting observation was made that Balanchine and Yakobson were born in January 1904 within one week of each other. They studied at the Mariinsky (now Vaganova) School, one left for the West, another one stayed in Russia and they met again only in 1962. The former was given full freedom at work and a chance to create his own company. The latter was deprived of work quite often, even was sacked from the Kirov as a “cosmopolitan Jew” in 1948. In spite of the authorities giving preference to other choreographers Yakobson created the ballets and concert pieces, which made the major impact on such dancers as Nureyev, Makarova, Baryshnikov, Osipenko and others. Maya Plisetskaya considered him to be the greatest choreographer she had ever met.


Yesterday we were shown fascinating recordings and photos, which can be seldom seen even in Russia, I thoroughly enjoyed by how this lecture was delivered, with good pace and perfect clarity, without a single '...mmm...'. The book “LIKE A BOMB GOING OFF. Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia” by Ross was on sale there: http://leonidyakobson.com/

Here is Yakobson’s “Viennese Waltz” (1960) danced by Ninel Kurgapkina and Boris Bregvadze.

There is a short TV programme about him. Although the text is read in Russian, the visual content is very rich and watchable:

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