Russian Ballet on Tour

Matgaret Willis, Author, Margaret Willis, Author, Alexander Orloff, Author Rizzoli International Publications $45 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1106-9
American-born Orloff, son of Russian emigre dancers Nicolas Orloff and Nina Popova, spent 10 years photographing, in the U.S.S.R. and on Western tours, the legendary Bolshoi and Kirov companies, the Moscow Classical Ballet and sundry ballet students of severe perfectionism and tender age. A portion culled from this large body of work--180 duotone and color pictures--is unveiled here with mixed results. For balletomanes hungry for glimpses of stars seen rarely in the West, views of Altynai Asylmuratova in attitude as Odette in Swan Lake , Faroukh Ruzimatov aloft in Knight in a Tiger's Skin and others will prove exhilarating. However, shots of the corps and soloists do not always hurdle the problem of faces: robustly heroic bodies are topped off, at times, by ersatz tragicomic masks. In addition, graininess mars the precision of some photographs. Critic Willis ably surveys Russian ballet history and pedagogy. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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