Saturday, October 04, 2008

["Fool's Dance" from Petipa's Mlada]

RU 1907- . D: Alexander Shiryaev. 2’15” from 35mm neg.; print source: Viktor Bocharov. Grand piano: John Sweeney. Viewed at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, 4 October 2008. - David Robinson: "Before the very recent discovery of his films, Shiryaev was already celebrated as an outstanding dancer and teacher of Russian and Soviet ballet. He created “The Fool’s Dance” in Marius Petipa’s 1896 revival of the ballet “Mlada”, with music by Ludwig Minkus, at the Mariinsky Theatre. His innovation of combining high leaps with the characteristic squatting step, prisyadka, was so dangerous that Petipa turned his back during Shiryaev’s solo, and in fact he broke his fibula while performing it in London in 1912. Although he was already over 40 when he made this film record, his remarkable agility and elevation are still evident." – David Robinson.

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