2 3 Throwback Thursday and Michel Fokine | Ballet Webb

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday and Michel Fokine

Throwback Thursday and Michel Fokine

Michel Fokine was a great dancer who studied at the Imperial School in Russia.  But he is best known for his choreography that changed the face of ballet.

His first work was a short ballet staged in 1905 for a student performance at the Imperial School.  That same year he choreographed a solo variation for a friend and fellow dancer .  Her name was Anna Pavlova.  That short solo became Pavlova’s signature piece:  The Dying Swan.

Fokine went on to choreograph more than sixty ballets, and his beliefs about  dance were quite different than the ideas of his day.  He felt that all dancing should serve as expression for dramatic action, and not be simply dancing for the sake of dancing.  He also established the one-act ballet as the norm, at a time when attending a ballet meant seeing a long, evening-length work.

Fokine was active until the last weeks of his life.  He died on August 22, 1942 of pneumonia.  He was 62.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #52:  
Michel Fokine was a great choreographer who popularized the one-act ballet.

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