Review Of "The Life And Ballets Of Lev Ivanov: Choreographer Of "The Nutcracker" And "Swan Lake"" By J. R. Wiley

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This is the first book to focus on choreographer Lev Ivanov, collaborator of Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa during the height of Russian Imperial ballet. Wiley (music, Univ. of Michigan) brings considerable expertise to his writing; his previous books include Tchaikovsky's Ballets (CH, Oct'85) and A Century of Russian Ballet (CH, Jul'91). The combination of careful scholarship and passion for the subject continues here. The first part of the book chronicles Ivanov's life and includes Ivanov's brief memoirs and the author's lengthy, well-documented discussion. Wiley devotes the second section to the ballet, including detailed and well-supported commentary from throughout Ivanov's career. The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Ivanov's most famous works, each merit a separate chapter. Wiley's conclusion presents interesting questions for future research and suggests how significant the coalescence of personality, training, and loyalty to the Maryinsky Theatre were in shaping Ivanov's work. Appendixes provide useful chronicles of performances and choreography and libretti of his ballets. Includes 16 pages of black-and-white photos. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


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