Category Archives: Playing for ballet class

Posts about the work of ballet pianists—including stuff that might not seem immediately related (like historical dance, character, musicology, and so on)

Institutional Racism & Swanilda’s Friends

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Another day at the University of London Library [see earlier post on Czerny], this time, to retrieve some dances from Tchaikovsky’s opera Cherevichki which were used in Cranko’s Onegin. I only know that because on a recent trip to Westminster … Continue reading Continue reading

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Italian ballets

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That old party game ‘name five famous Belgians’ is a little unfair on the Belgians. A more difficult game is ‘name five Italian ballets’, I’ve discovered. Until, that is, I found this wonderful catalogue of Italian Ballet Plot Synopses, 1816-1933 … Continue reading Continue reading

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Skip, change of step

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I often feel extraordinarily privileged to have such illustrious friends in the ballet world, particularly when I want an answer to a simple question, and can just pick up the phone and ask someone whose knowledge and experience is of … Continue reading Continue reading

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The joy of libraries and my Czech mate Czerny

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It’s not often that I get goosebumps sitting in a library, but I came pretty near to it yesterday on a trip to the University of London Library. I have been looking for months for the Czerny piano studies on … Continue reading

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Magic and Mazurkaphobia

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You’d think I made it up, wouldn’t you? Well I didn’t. Taming a Tartar; or, Magic & mazourkaphobia, “an operatic, romantic, magical, semi-burlesque, terpsichorean burletta, in two acts, founded on the grand ballet spectacle, called ‘Le diable à quatre’” is … Continue reading Continue reading

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History of a song & Vejvodova Zbraslav

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Amazing what you can turn up from a simple question. Is Roll Out the Barrel still in copyright? Like me, you may have thought it was one of those diehard Edwardian music hall songs that everyone knows, but nobody can … Continue reading

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