Probably the most vital ballet choreographers of all time, Marius Petipa (1818 – 1910) created works that are actually mainstays of the ballet repertoire. Each day, in towns world wide, performances of Swan Lake and The Napping Beauty draw massive audiences to theatres and encourage new generations of dancers, as does The Nutcracker right through the iciness vacations. Those are his easiest-identified works, however others – Don Quixote, Los angeles Bayad�re – have additionally turn out to be in style, even canonical parts of the classical repertoire, and in combination they’ve formed the defining taste of twentieth-century ballet. The primary biography in English of this huge determine of ballet historical past, Marius Petipa: The Emperor’s Ballet Master covers the choreographer’s lifestyles and paintings in complete inside the context of exceptional historic and political setting.

Over the process ten neatly-researched chapters, Nadine Meisner explores Marius Petipa’s lifestyles and legacy: the artist’s arrival in Russia from his local France, the socio-political tensions and revolution he skilled, his recognition at the Russian imperial level, his collaborations with different choreographers and composers (such a lot famously Tchaikovsky), and the prerequisites underneath which he labored, in shut proximity to the imperial courtroom. Meisner gifts an exhilarating and exhaustive narrative no longer most effective of Petipa’s lifestyles however of the cultural building of ballet around the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The e book additionally extends past Petipa’s narrative with insightful analyses of the evolution of ballet methodology, theatre genres, and the upward push of male dancers.

Richly illustrated with archival pictures, this e book finds unique subject matter from Petipa’s 63 years in Russia, so much of it by no means printed in English ahead of. As Meisner demonstrates, the choreographer laid the principles for Soviet ballet and for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, the expatriate corporate which exercised such a huge affect on ballet within the West, together with the Royal Ballet and Balanchine’s New York Town Ballet. After Petipa, Western ballet could by no means be the similar.