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Symposium on dance and politics in Russia

A symposium on “The Choreography of Power: Dance and Politics in Russia,” will be held at Princeton University on Friday, February 7, 2014, from 1 –7 p.m. in 219 Aaron Burr Hall. The event, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the Program in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES).

**Media who would like to attend should RSVP by February 6 to the Kathleen Allen at or 609-258-5978**

The symposium opens at 1 p.m. with Pavel Gershenzon, a ballet historian and critic and university lecturer at St. Petersburg State University, speaking in Russian on “The New Russian Ballet between Arts, Politics, and Crime.” Translation will be provided.

Tim Scholl, a professor of Russian and comparative literature at Oberlin College, will speak on “Chronicling the Recent Past: Russian Writers on the Post-Soviet Ballet” at 2:45 p.m.

At 4:45, after a short break, a panel on “Russian Ballet on Stage, Backstage, and Behind the Scenes,” will be held. Discussants include New Yorker dance critic Joan Acocella, Gershenzon, and Scholl. Serguei Oushakine, associate professor of anthropology and Slavic languages and literatures and the director of REEES, will serve as moderator.

The symposium will conclude with video screenings of recent dance productions from Russia.

About the participants

Joan Acocella has written several books on dance, literature, and psychology. These include, as editor,  Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky’s The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky; as coeditor, André Levinson on Dance: Writings from Paris in the Twenties;  and, as author, Mark Morris, a biography of the American dancer, choreographer, and director.

Pavel Gershenzon was the primary organizer of the Bolshoi’s 2013 international ballet festival, "The Rite of Spring Century – The Century of Modernism." In 2010, he published Dialogues about Russian Ballet: Commentaries on the History of the 20th Century, with Vadim Gaevsky, a leading dance historian.  From the 1990s to the early 2000s, Gershenzon participated in the reconstruction of a series of classical ballets in St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Tim Scholl, also a docent in the Theater Research Department of Helsinki University, is a specialist in 19th- and 20th-century ballet. His books on the history of Russian dance include From Petipa to Balanchine: Classical Revival and the Modernization of Ballet (1994) and Sleeping Beauty: A Legend in Progress (2004).

For more information contact the Kathleen Allen, or 609-258-5978.