Ballet in America:
From Russia, with Love
Iris Fanger's Ballet in America
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Iris Fanger, theater and dance critic
Although there were foreign ballet dancers in America by the late 18th century, it was not until the 20th century that ballet became a national institution. Anna Pavlova and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes toured before and after World War I, followed by the new Ballets Russes companies of the 1930s and 1940s. Michel Fokine, Michel Mordkin and George Balanchine remained to create troupes that reflected American society while incorporating their origins in the Imperial Russian court. This lecture will follow the ballet slipper-clad footsteps of the immigrants, including defectors, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov, then continue to the post-Iron Curtain era, during which so many Russian artists have graced our stages. The lecture will be accompanied by slides and films with personal anecdotes about many of the artists.
This lecture is part of Iris Fanger's series, Ballet in America.