Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

by Simon Morrison


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In this “incredibly rich” (New York Times) definitive history of the Bolshoi Ballet, visionary performances onstage compete with political machinations backstage.

A critical triumph, Simon Morrison’s “sweeping and authoritative” (Guardian) work, Bolshoi Confidential, details the Bolshoi Ballet’s magnificent history from its earliest tumults to recent scandals. On January 17, 2013, a hooded assailant hurled acid into the face of the artistic director, making international headlines. A lead soloist, enraged by institutional power struggles, later confessed to masterminding the crime. Morrison gives the shocking violence context, describing the ballet as a crucible of art and politics beginning with the disreputable inception of the theater in 1776, through the era of imperial rule, the chaos of revolution, the oppressive Soviet years, and the Bolshoi’s recent $680 million renovation. With vibrant detail including “sex scandals, double-suicide pacts, bribery, arson, executions, prostitution rings, embezzlement, starving orphans, [and] dead cats in lieu of flowers” (New Republic), Morrison makes clear that the history of the Bolshoi Ballet mirrors that of Russia itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631493447
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 10/24/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 227,634
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Simon Morrison is a professor of music at Princeton University, a contributor to the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement, and the author of, most recently, Lina and Serge. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

A Note on Transliteration and Dates ix

Introduction xi

1 The Swindling Magician 1

2 Napoleon and After 43

3 Fleet as Lightning: The Career of Ekaterinn Sankovskaya 81

4 Imperialism 119

5 After the Bolsheviks 200

6 Censorship 258

7 I, Maya Plisetskaya 330

Epilogue 411

Acknowledgments 425

Notes 429

Index 481

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Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet--From the Rule of the Tsars to Today 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Buecherwurm161 More than 1 year ago
Never really got into the book. I have always loved ballet, and especially the mystery that always surrounded the Bolshoi Ballet, so when I saw this book on NetGalley, especially with such an intriguing title, I requested it right away and got a copy in exchange for a review. It started off with the attack but then went into a long, and I am sorry, boring narrative on how it all started. I am not really sure what I expected but I had to force myself to read it and that is never fun. It would have been more interesting if there was maybe one or two chapters on how it got started and then more about the dancer and how life is like in the company. So unfortunately for me it was a dull read which was very disappointing.