By Elena Tchernichova

Dancing on Water is either a private coming-of-age tale and a sweeping examine ballet lifestyles in Russia and the us throughout the golden age of dance. Elena Tchernichova takes us from her adolescence through the siege of Leningrad to her mother’s alcoholism and suicide, and from her adoption via Kirov ballerina Tatiana Vecheslova, who entered her into the country ballet university, to her profession within the American Ballet Theatre.

As a scholar and younger dancer with the Kirov, she witnessed the company’s achievements as a fort of vintage ballet, domestic to mythical names—Shelest, Nureyev, Dudinskaya, Baryshnikov—but additionally a hotbed of intrigue and ambition run amok. As ballet mistress of yankee Ballet Theatre from 1978 to 1990, Elena used to be known as “the most vital behind-the-scenes strength for switch in ballet today,” through trend journal. She coached stars and corps de ballet alike, and helped mould the careers of a few of the nice dancers of the age, together with Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Gregory, Natalia Makarova, and Alexander Godunov. Dancing on Water is a travel de strength, exploring the top degrees of the realm of dance.

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Dancing on Water: A Life in Ballet, from the Kirov to the ABT

Dancing on Water is either a private coming-of-age tale and a sweeping examine ballet existence in Russia and the USA throughout the golden age of dance. Elena Tchernichova takes us from her formative years throughout the siege of Leningrad to her mother’s alcoholism and suicide, and from her adoption through Kirov ballerina Tatiana Vecheslova, who entered her into the nation ballet university, to her profession within the American Ballet Theatre.

Additional resources for Dancing on Water: A Life in Ballet, from the Kirov to the ABT

Sample text

But perhaps I was responsible: while my classmates seemed to gobble as much as they could, I never had much appetite. I drank tea and nibbled. In fact I don’t think I have ever had a normal appetite. Yet outside class I always had more than enough energy. But when the pain of exertion began creeping through my muscles, it was as if they began to panic. As a result, I began working half-force in class, conserving my strength. The teachers thought that I was merely lazy. They didn’t realize how terrified I was of fainting, and how that prevented me from fully committing myself in class.

She yelled. Finally my legs crumpled to the ground and I started to bawl. ” she asked. ” I cried. “I can’t hold it. ” “Well then, you’re in the wrong profession,” she said. ” Those were harsh and discouraging words to use with a child, and I think that for me they turned the idea of ballet into something torturous. I didn’t want to get hurt. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life in pain. Gradually I learned how to cheat: my leg would rise so slowly that it was still moving up a couple of counts after I should have begun holding my extension.

Snetkova said to be back by July 1, but camp didn’t finish until the end of August. ” We didn’t come back till the end of August, but we called the Vecheslovas right away and they invited us over. ” Snetkova asked. There were only a few days until the school term began. ” I was ten. The next year they were starting an experimental class for girls older than nine, the traditional entry age. I could start then. ” Snetkova steered me through a lobby fraught with tears and disappointment. A long audition process was ending.

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