My Favourite Ballet Stories by Beryl Grey


My Favourite Ballet Stories by Beryl Grey

This work is taken from the My Favourite series - favourite stories on different themes by different authors, each volume edited by a celebrity in the field. The first of May, 1902, was the night of my debut at the Maryinsky. I felt eager, yet strangely light-headed, and my limbs trembled slightly. My teacher kept by me in the preceding interval. 'Don't stand still. Warm yourself up,' he advised. 'Courage!' He made the sign of the Cross over me at the first notes of introduction and hurried to the first wing to watch me. Between that night and the present day lies a gulf, the whole distance from half-conscious ardour to the lucidity of a ripe artistic means. The great Karsavina looks back to the school-girl who that night emerged from the long, rigorous training of the Imperial Ballet School to make her debut as a dancer. The story of her school years, told with characteristic verve and freshness, opens this splendid selection. Sacheverell Sitwell's glorious evocation of the Imperial court reflects the lucent world of the Sleeping Princess which ballet creates on stage; Richard Buckle shows how the crowded fairground 'set' of Petrouchka reflects in its turn the world of the theatre's audience, caught up in the puppet's tragedy. The spectacular Nijinsky; Ulanova, intensely reserved; enchanting Genee; Ninette de Vlois and Lilian Baylis indomitable in the creation of the Wells; all are here. So too is the great Indian dancer, Ram Gopal; Toglioni and Spessivtzeva; Dollin and Diaghilev; the pioneers of the modern dance - Duncan, Graham, and de Mille; the entertainers, Astaire supreme among them; and all engaged in the unceasing struggle to master the technique, to perfect the discipline, that creates an unparalleled beauty.

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128 pages


Beryl Grey
More books by Beryl Grey


Publication date

29th September 1981



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