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4.9.2. Who was Fokine?




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This article is from the Ballet and Modern Dance FAQ, by Tom Parsons twp@panix.com with numerous contributions by others.

4.9.2. Who was Fokine?

Michel Fokine (1880-1942) was trained at the Imperial School in
St Petersburg and joined Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1909. In 1923, he
moved to the United States, where he re-staged pieces for the Ballet Russe
de Monte Carlo and American Ballet Theatre. Fokine objected to what he
considered arbitrary and artificial conventions and sterile technique and
strove for a more natural and expressive choreographic style. (This is a
recurrent theme in ballet; Noverre called for almost the same thing in his
"Letters".) His influence and ideas undoubtedly contributed to the early
success of Diaghilev's company. He choreographed a number of plotless
ballets, most notably "Chopiniana" (later "Les Sylphides"), which even-
tually led Balanchine to try the plotless ballets that ultimately became
his trademark.

 

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