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Thread: Russian and American Influences in Arts

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    Russian and American Influences in Arts

    This will be a bit vague, but I want to get enough information as possible, so anything said will help. I'm looking for how Russian artists/musicians/writers influenced American artists/musicians/writers and vice versa. Does anyone know of any books, articles, movies, or just knowledge off the top of your heads about this topic (in Russian or in English). For instance, I know Dostoevsky influenced Vonnegut's works. Thanks!

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    I have to run, but I can answer quickly right now that in the world of acting... Stanislavski is still influencing American actors.
    Stanislavski's system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    American Masters . Constantin Stanislavsky | PBS

    The Actors Studio - History and Observations of Lee Strasberg
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    Mel Brooks did a film "The Twelve Chairs" based on the Ilf and Petrov book. Most Americans have no clue who Ilf and Petrov are.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    Mel Brooks did a film "The Twelve Chairs" based on the Ilf and Petrov book. Most Americans have no clue who Ilf and Petrov are.

    Scott
    interestingly, they also traveled across the USA in 1936 by car as correspondents with a Soviet newspaper; the result was the book named 'One-storeyed America'. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    interestingly, they also traveled across the USA in 1936 by car as correspondents with a Soviet newspaper; the result was the book named 'One-storeyed America'.
    Yep and a few years Vladimir Pozner and Ivan Urgant recreated the journey and it was on TV in a 16 episode series. It was in Russian so I had no clue what they were talking about

    Scott

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    Now on to Dance! (Part 1)

    Biography | The George Balanchine Foundation

    Mikhail Baryshnikov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia a side not here... it didn't hurt that American females found Baryshnikov attractive and that he's not gay. This helped to bring men into the world of dance and others who might not have normally been drawn to ballet. When I was 14, I went to see a performance of The American Ballet Theatre. They had just started the performance and Martine Van Hamel fell. As soon as she did, a man who was sitting diagonally across the aisle from me went running up the aisle and out of the theater. They stopped the dance and we all waited around. Some people decided to leave as it was taking a long time and the figured they would cancel the show. Finally, an announcement was made that they were going to restart the show with Gelsey Kirkland and Baryshnikov and to please have some patience while the get warmed up. It turned out that the man in the seat across from me... was Baryshnikov. The crowd went wild (well as wild as you get at a ballet) and I must admit, he was amazing to watch in person.

    Last year in my older daughter's advance high school dance class, they did study Baryshnikov.

    May 19, 1975 Cover





    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/7524 (Lampda, this is for you )



    The History of Ballet
    Ballet In America

    More than anyone, it was the Russian influence of choreographer George Balanchine that brought ballet to America. The now world-famous New York City Ballet was cofounded by Balanchine, who worked for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes as a young man, and who was invited to work in the United States by a wealthy patron of the arts, Lincoln Kirstein. Kirstein knew little about ballet and Balanchine knew just as little about America. Balanchine moved towards the creation of plotless ballets where the motivation was movement in response to music rather than to a storyline. His ballet Jewels, which he choreographed in 1967 was the first evening-length ballet of this type.


    The Russian Men

    In 1961, the world spotlight was on a powerful dancer of the Russian Kirov ballet, Rudolf Nureyev. When the Kirov began to organize a Paris and London tour, his offstage, personal disregard for Soviet ideals placed him in jeopardy of not going on the tour. He sought political asylum in France. After defecting, he paired with Margot Fonteyn as a dance partner with many companies.


    Yet another young dancer at the Kirov Ballet, by the name of Mikhail Baryshnikov, was gaining notoriety. In 1974, while touring with the Bolshoi Ballet in Canada, Baryshnikov requesting political asylum. Soon after, he came to the United Stated and became principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre where he mesmerized audiences for five years. He went on to join New York City Ballet, where he worked with choreographer George Balanchine before returning to ABT in 1980 as dancer and artistic director. Baryshnikov never danced in ballets that required the male character to carry height, he was not tall and was rather known for his textbook form and technical excellence.
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    Dance (part 2)

    Russia is STILL having an influence on Americans when it comes to Ballet.
    Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive New York 2011

    The Russian American Foundation

    Bowie ballet student chosen to train at the Bolshoi

    Bowie ballet student chosen to train at the Bolshoi

    Dancer will spend six weeks in Moscow this summer

    A passionate student of ballet, Taylor Fikes, 17, of Bowie said she has always wanted to visit the world-famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, where many great dancers have performed. This summer she will.


    "It'll be really cool to go see it ... and get to experience it," said Fikes, who will be one of 16 American students who will study ballet, along with Russian language, history, arts and culture, at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for six weeks starting in mid-July.


    Learning Russian is "a really great tool to have," because so many people in ballet around the world speak Russian or French, said Fikes, a junior at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in northeast Washington, D.C., who has her sights set on becoming a professional ballet dancer.

    "We'll be taking art classes and learning Russian," she said about the summer trip — her first overseas — that will also include weekend stays with local families.

    Free for students, the trips are part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program, which is funded mostly by the U.S. Department of State.

    Fikes and the 15 other students from around the U.S. were chosen from a pool of hundreds of students who have been accepted into the summer ballet program in New York run by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the New York-based Russian American Foundation, which seeks to foster communication between the two countries.

    "It's part of a reset between the countries on the presidential level where we know how to communicate in the language of arts and in the actual language," said Rina Kirschner, vice president of the foundation.

    Fikes is scheduled to leave June 25 to dance for three weeks in the New York program before leaving for Moscow.

    Students were chosen for the trip, now in its second year, based on grades, an interview, two essays and their level of dancing, which needs to be high in order to make it through the six weeks of intense training in Russia.

    "They have to be able to succeed with the rigor of the Bolshoi training," Kirschner said.

    Fikes has been dancing most of her life, getting an early start as a young child in Atlanta.

    "I was always dancing around my mom's kitchen, putting on performances when she was in there cooking," said Fikes, whose interpretation of one song convinced her grandmother to sign her up for lessons.She would later go to the Baltimore School for the Arts before switching to Bowie High School for the 2010-11 academic year, splitting her time between Bowie and the Kirov Academy before opting to go to Kirov full time when the scheduling got too complicated.

    Last weekend she danced with two other students in a ballet piece and also in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" as one of the swans during the school's year-end performances.

    "She has a lovely stage presence and an elegance, and she's charming in romantic lyrical pieces," said Martin Fredmann, deputy artistic director at the Kirov Academy, which serves about 76 students in grades seven through 12.

    Fredmann has traveled the world working in ballet, and Fikes said she wants to do the same.

    "I really enjoy dancing, the feeling, the costumes, working with the different teachers and choreographers," she said. "It's what I enjoy doing most, and I want to work to get on that level."
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    Back to theater and adding in playwrights for a second...

    Connecticut College offers the Moscow Art Theater Semester
    O Neill Center :: Moscow Art Theater Semester

    NTI has been collaborating with the Moscow Art Theater and offering our MATS program for 20 years. Ours is the ONLY American program where undergraduate students from all over the country can train for an entire semester at the Moscow Art Theater School and work with members of one of the most accomplished and groundbreaking theaters in the world.

    Overview
    The experience Moscow Art Theater begins with a three-day orientation at the Eugene O'Neill Center in Connecticut. Students are introduced to Russian language, culture, and the other members of the class. The group then departs from New York City for the rest of the semester in Moscow. Daily acting classes in the Stanislavsky System, the Michael Chekhov Technique, and movement classes (including Biomechanics and ballet) are complemented with voice, design, Russian language and Russian theater history. You live and study in the vibrant city of Moscow, visit cultural sites, see theater and train with master teachers of the Moscow Art Theater School. Classes are held six days a week, from 9AM to 6PM.


    Core Courses
    Acting
    Daily classes in all phases of acting technique with special emphasis on the style that characterized Russian theater: Stanislavsky and the Expressionist Directors. Extensive scene work concentrating on Russian dramatists such as Chekhov, Gogol, Gorky, and Ostrovsky, as well as contemporary playwrights.


    Movement & Voice
    Daily classes in vocal technique, production and singing. Movement classes include Biomechanics, mime, classical folk dance, scenic movement and ballet. Classes focus on developing the actor’s imagination in connection with the training and development of the physical and vocal instrument.

    Russian Theater History & Cinema

    This course is designed to familiarize students with the rich history of the Russian cinema and theater, especially the Moscow Art Theater and the Stanislavsky System. In addition to regular lectures, an integral part of the course includes theater, museum and cultural visits.

    Design

    An introduction to the world of Russian set and costume design and to the production itself. Prominent designers talk about design theory and history, plus students visit the costume department of The State Armory, Russia’s oldest museum

    Russian Language

    Intensive language immersion appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels. Advanced level students will have special classes to improve their language skills.

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    Very interesting article about Olga Kostritzky

    I find more interesting her recollections and thoughts about when she left Russian and came to the US, especially the part about the recorded music in the ballet room.

    'We left everything'
    The move from the Ukraine town on the Black Sea to America may have seemed like a risky move at the time for a pair of artists who didn't speak English. They had a comfortable middle-class life in Odessa, a nice apartment and cars. Her husband, Ilia, played in the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, a job that allowed the couple to traverse the far reaches of the Soviet Union, bringing back exotic toys and fox fur coats for their daughter.

    "The reality was life in Russia in the '60s and '70s was so limited in terms of what you could read and the information available to you," her daughter, Angela Kostritzky-Haws said in a telephone interview from her home in Westchester, New York.

    "They knew that there was more out there. They wanted to be able to read what they wanted to read and not having that option, as artists, I think pushed them to leave."

    The exit from her homeland is a topic Kostritzky would rather not discuss except to acknowledge that her Jewish heritage on her mother's side certainly made matters more difficult.

    Leaving the Soviet Union in the Cold War era was notoriously difficult, especially for Jews, and often was perceived as an act of treason. Applying for an exit visa could mean severing ties with employers and family and paying multiple fees long before a visa was granted.

    Many families like Kostritzky's relocated to Italy after getting their exit visa while waiting for a U.S. visa to come through. Working through an agency, they were eventually placed in Buffalo, where they had a distant relative.

    "When I look back, it's like you can't swim. But in the middle of the night you jump in the ocean just thinking, 'Maybe I'm going to get to the coast and my life's going to be better,'" Kostritzky said.

    "I don't know, maybe because we were young. When you're young you think you will never die, everything's going to work, so this is what we did. We left everything."

    A lack of English skills hindered their ability to find jobs, so Kostritzky said she and her husband took language classes at the University of Buffalo. But she immediately started seeking opportunities to teach ballet.

    Her English teacher gave her the address of Buffalo's Royal Academy of Ballet and Dance, where Kostritzky saw for the first time a ballet class accompanied by a tape recorder instead of musicians. In exchange for the opportunity to teach, the director offered her private language classes with a dance student.



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