Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition

«An extensive and thorough compilation of numerous sources with unique insights on Vaganova and her methodology. The author has had access to several important figures in Russian ballet who knew Vaganova and/or her students. Confronting the dilemmas facing the art of classical ballet, Vaganova Today is a thought-provoking read.» John White, author of Advanced Principles in Teaching Classical Ballet.

Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951) is revered as the visionary who first codified the Russian system of classical ballet training. The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, founded on impeccable technique and centuries of tradition, has a reputation for elite standards, and its graduates include Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Diana Vishneva. Yet the «Vaganova method» has come under criticism in recent years.

In this absorbing volume, Catherine Pawlick traces Vaganova’s story from her early years as a ballet student in tsarist Russia to her career as a dancer with the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet to her work as a pedagogue and choreographer. Pawlick then goes beyond biography to address Vaganova’s legacy today, offering the first-ever English translations of primary source materials and intriguing interviews with pedagogues and dancers from the Academy and the Mariinsky Ballet, including some who studied with Vaganova herself.

Catherine E. Pawlick danced with ballet companies in the United States before moving to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lived for six years, observing classes at the Vaganova Academy and rehearsals and performances at the Mariinsky Theatre. Fluent in French and Russian, she has written on dance for the San Francisco Chronicle, Ballet Review, and Dance Europe.

Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition

  • Catherine E. Pawlick
  • Editor University Press of Florida
  • Details: 232 pages
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3697-7
  • Pubdate: 9/4/2011

«Vaganova combined the achievements of Russian and foreign dancers, balletmasters and teachers at the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century. Developing her Soviet method, she defined the new qualities of execution for female dancing, and rendered and indubitable influence on the development of male dancing. Two aspects eternally stand out to me in this method. […] the correct carriage of the torso and spine, which gave absolute freedom of expression, and an exact coordination of all parts of the body, which as a result acquire expression and plastique in flight.» – Konstantin Sergeyev on Vaganova (page 51)

Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition | Danza Ballet
Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition
Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition | Danza Ballet
Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition

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