Site: Carmel Unified Moodle
Course: Dance I
Book: Ballet
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Monday, May 23, 2022, 1:50 AM


Modern Dance

1. Marius Petipa

Marius Petipa (1818-1910)

Petipa was a great French choreographer. He was the chief choreographer of the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg from 1862 to 1903.  He perfected the full-length, evening-long story ballet that combined set dances with mimed scenes. His best-known "Russian Classic" works are The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake. These ballets are still done today all around the world. 

2. Four Swans

Four Swans originally choreographed by Mauris Petipa in 1895

While hunting, Prince Siegfried sees an amazing swan. As he takes aim to shoot, the swan turns into a beautiful woman. The woman, Odette, tells the prince that she is a princess who has come under the spell of an evil sorcerer. During the day she must be a swan and swim in a lake of tears. At night she is allowed to be a human again. The spell can only be broken if a prince swears eternal fidelity to her. She tells Prince Siegfried that if he refuses her she must remain a swan forever.

Prince Siegfried falls madly in love with Odette. However, through a spell by the evil sorcerer, he accidentally proposes to another woman at a party, believing that the woman is really Odette. Princess Odette feels doomed. She threatens to kill herself and throws herself into the lake. The Prince feels terribly sorry and throws himself into the lake with her. In an incredibly touching moment, the two are transformed into lovers in the afterlife.

3. Serge Diaghilev

Sergei Diaghilev was born to a wealthy and cultured family in Russia. After the death of Sergei's mother, his father remarried an artistic young woman who was on very affectionate terms with her stepson and was a strong influence on him. He later went to study law, but ended up also studying music and singing. After graduating in 1892 he abandoned his dreams when one of his teachers told him he had no talent. He eventually became an art expert in Russian art.

This later led to an invitation to Paris and he returned the following year work with ballet as well as opera, and thus to the launching of his famous Ballet Russes. The company included the best young Russian dancers, among them Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. The Ballet Russes collaborated with composer such as Stravinsky and artists including Matisse and Picasso.

4. Ballet Russes "Rite of Spring"

Joffrey Ballet performs the Ballet Russes originally choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky in 1913 with music by Stravinsky. Begin watching at 3:00. This ballet caused riots in the streets of Paris when it premiered. After watching the video, why do you think this ballet ignited riots?

5. Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova 1881-1931

Member of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballet Russes. Most known for creating the role of the dying swan. She was the first famous ballerina that brought outside audiences into the theatre.

6. Maya Plisetska Dying Swan 1959

7. George Balanchine

Russian born George Balanchine 1904 – 1983 was one of the 20th century's most prolific and famous choreographers.  Styled as the father of American ballet, he co-founded the New York City Ballet and remained its ballet master for more than 35 years.

After great success in Europe he was responsible for bringing ballet to the United States, founding the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet. His abstract ballets were revolutionary for his time. He did not create story ballets with lead characters. Instead, he used all of the corps ballet dancers in his works often with minimal costumes to highlight the skill and technique of the dancers.

Start the video at 1:20

8. Mikail Baryshnikov

Mikail Baryshnikov born in 1948 often cited as one of the greatest ballet dancers in  history. After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningard Russia, he defected to Canada in 1974 for more opportunities in western dance.  After freelancing with many companies, he joined the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer to learn George Balanchine's style of movement. He then danced with the American Ballet Theatre, where he later became artistic director.