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Entries / Fokine M.M., (1880-1942), ballet-master

Fokine M.M., (1880-1942), ballet-master

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

FOKINE Mikhail Mikhailovich (1880, St. Petersburg - 1942), dancer, ballet-master, pedagogue. From 1898, after graduating from Legat class of Petersburg Theatre School, he was the 1st dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre, of which he became ballet master in 1910. He performed several major roles, including Don Quixote by A.A. Gorsky, La Bayadere, Raymonda, Paquita by M.I. Petipa, and put on his own productions. He choreographed a number of ballets: The Dying Swan to the music of C. Saint-Saens (1907), Egypt Nights by A.S. Arensky and Chopiniana: Music of F. Chopin (both in 1908), Polovetsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor by A.P. Borodin (1909), Le Carnaval to the music of R. Schumann (1910), Preludes to the music of F. List (1913), and Aragon Hunt to the music of M.I. Glinka (1916). In 1901-11 he taught at the Petersburg Theatre School. In 1909-12 and 1914 he was a dancer, art director, and ballet master for S.P. Dyagilev's Russian Seasons (from 1913 known as Ballets Russes). He staged Scheherazade to the music of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, The Firebird (1910) and Petrushka (1911) by I.F. Stravinsky, and Le Spectre de la Rose to the music of K.M. Weber (1911). From 1918 he lived in exile. Fokine reformed 20th century ballet theatre, renouncing stereotypes, and creating a new form and a unique choreographic image for each play. He drew from the practices of theatre and painting, and used symphonic music not always intended for ballet. Narrative plays full of dramatic tension prevailed throughout his productions. At the same time, Fokine created a genre of ballet without plot, built on principles of musical and choreographic workings. Some of his leading performers include A.P. Pavlova, T.P. Karsavina, V.F. Nijinsky, A.R. Bolm, V.P. Fokina, and E.M. Lyukom. He lived at 109 Ekaterininsky Canal Embankment. Writings: The Dying Swan. Leningrad, 1961; Upstream: Reminiscences of a Ballet Master. Scripts and Ballet Plots. Articles, Interview and Letters. 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1981.

References: Светлов В. Я. Современный балет. СПб., 1911; Красовская В. М. Русский балетный театр начала XX века: В 2 ч. Л., 1971. Ч. 1; Horwitz D. L. Michel Fokine. Boston, 1985.

G. N. Dobrovolskaya.

Arensky Anton Stepanovich
Bolm Adolph Rudolfovich
Borodin Alexander Porfirievich
Chopin Frederic
Dyagilev Sergey Pavlovich
Fokin Mikhail Mikhailovich
Fokina Vera Petrovna
Glinka Mikhail Ivanovich
Gorsky Alexander Alexeevich
Karsavina Tamara Platonovna
Legat Nikolay Gustavovich
Liszt Ferenc
Lyukom Elena Mikhailovna
Nijinsky Vaclav Fomich
Pavlova A.I.
Petipa Marius Ivanovich
Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay Andreevich
Saint-Saens Camille
Schumann Robert
Stravinsky Igor Fedorovich
Weber Carl Maria von

Griboedova Canal Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 109

Светлов В. Я. Современный балет. СПб., 1911
Horwitz D. L. Michel Fokine. Boston, 1985
Красовская В. М. Русский балетный театр начала XX века: В 2 ч. Л., 1971
Умирающий лебедь. Л., 1961
Против течения: Воспоминания балетмейстера. Сценарии и замыслы балетов. Статьи, интервью и письма. 2-е изд. Л., 1981

The subject Index
Theatre College
Mariinsky Theatre