Type of Document Dissertation Author Cashin, Kathryn Karrh URN etd-04072005-133328 Title Alexander Pushkin's Influence on Russian Ballet Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Humanities Program Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Tricia Young Committee Chair Ernest Rehder Committee Member Leon Golden Committee Member Paul Halpern Committee Member Keywords
- Russian Literature
Date of Defense 2005-03-16 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
This dissertation explores and analyzes Alexander Pushkin’s contribution to the development of a unique Russian form of classical ballet. Pushkin’s gift as a writer and understanding of language, music and ballet converge to directly influence the evolution of ballet in Russia. To establish a link between Pushkin and Russian ballet, the evolution of Pushkin’s written word to its presentation musically, in the form of songs, and later on stage as opera is traced.
Pushkin’s works provide important inspiration for the Russian performing arts because of his use of Russian themes and incorporation of local color, characterizations and settings. His works lend themselves to musical interpretation, which provides additional inspiration.
A brief examination of Pushkin’s life and a chronological review of his literary career are provided. Similarly, each chapter begins with a brief historical overview of the subject covered (i.e. music, ballet history, ballet in Russia, Socialist Realism) so that a point of reference and background information is provided.
In order to illustrate Pushkin’s influence on the emergence of a uniquely Russian ballet tradition, selected ballets were examined according to five hallmarks identified as originating with Pushkin’s literary legacy and traceable through the development and codification of Russian ballet. Although other Pushkin-based ballets are included in this study, four are given special consideration. These include The Bronze Horseman, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, The Queen of Spades, and Eugene Onegin.
Chapter One provides background on Pushkin while Chapter Two outlines Pushkin’s influence on the development of Russian music. Chapter Three reviews the history of ballet in both Western Europe and Russia and Chapter Four is dedicated to ballet in Russia and Pushkin’s significance to its development. In Chapter Five The Bronze Horseman and The Fountain of Bakhchisarai are analyzed, while in Chapter Six these two ballets and The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin are compared and contrasted. Chapter Six also includes a discussion of Pushkin’s interest in the ballet as evidenced by his Eugene Onegin and explores the theme of madness in his works.
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