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ix The sublime dancers of the Mariinsky-Kirov and the Bolshoi, who elevated the art of ballet throughout the tumultuous twentieth century, inspired this research. I would like to thank the staff at the Central State Archive of Literature and the Arts in St. Petersburg and of the Russian State Archive of Literature and the Arts in Moscow. Ballet is a visual art, and this book would not have been the same without the help of Natalia Metelitsa, Tatiana Vlasova , and Sergei Laletin from the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theater and Music, Elena Lollo, Alisa Meves, Elena Mochalova, and Olga Ovechkina from the Mariinsky Theater, and of Gwyneth Campling and Victoria Relph from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, who helped me obtain photographs for this book. I am grateful to the dancers of the Kirov and Bolshoi Ballet companies who have shared their thoughts with me over the years, above all Makharbek Vaziev, Olga Chenchikova, and Evgeny Goremykin. I thank my editor, Peter Kracht, for his guidance and his enthusiasm about this project, which began at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. I am indebted to Alena Ledeneva and Geoffrey Hosking for their inspiring guidance and to Nancy Condee for her support. I would like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council and University College London for funding my work. I am deeply grateful to my mother for sharing my love for Russian ballet and to my father for putting up with our enthusiasm. I am obliged to my parents-in-law, especially Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi and Ruth HaCohen, for nurturing me intellectually and gastronomically, but notably to Yaron Ezrahi , who has provided invaluable guidance at different stages. Above all, I would like to thank my husband, Ariel, who has become an expert on Russian ballet, my daughter, Lina, whose first words included Mariinsky and Bolshoi, and my son, Yariv, who chivalrously accompanied me to St. Petersburg even before he was born. Acknowledgments This page intentionally left blank. xi In my transliteration from Russian to English, I have used a modified version of the Library of Congress (LOC) system in the text. I have made the following changes for the endings of names: -ii in the LOC system becomes -y (Lunacharsky, not Lunacharskii) -aia in the LOC system becomes -aya (Plisetskaya, not Plisetskaia) For Russian names frequently used in English, I use the most common English transliteration instead of the LOC system (for example: Bolshoi Theater, not Bol’shoi Theater; Tchaikovsky, not Chaikovskii). I have used strict LOC transliteration for Russian words other than names that appear in the text, in source notes, and in the bibliography. Unless noted, all translations are my own. There is no precise English equivalent to the Russian uchilishche. I translate the term as “institute.” A Note on Transliteration and Translation This page intentionally left blank. swans of the kremlin This page intentionally left blank. ...


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