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The Enduring Relevance of Léonide Massine

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Abstract Once the most celebrated of 20th-century ballet choreographers, Léonide Massine (1895-1979) went out of fashion in the 1950’s for a variety of reasons. Now the time has come for renewed interest in this remarkably versatile choreographer who regarded ballet as an art capable of constant expansion in terms of themes, styles, and movement vocabulary. His ballets include works, both serious and comic, about the history and customs of such places as Spain (Le Tricorne), Venice (The Good-Humoured Ladies), and Paris (Gaîté Parisienne), collaborations with Cubists (e.g. Pablo Picasso) and Surrealists (e.g. Salvador Dalí), and choreographic interpretations, often allegorical, of great pieces of symphonic music. Many of these creations could still enrich company repertories today.


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