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The Igor Moiseyev Dance Company

Dancing Diplomats

In this book, Anthony Shay examines the history of the Moiseyev Dance Company and the life and works of its renowned choreographer and founder, Igor Moiseyev. Founded in Moscow in 1937 amid a mass Soviet Union campaign of political repression, Moiseyev’s theatrical dance troupe came to be an international force, transforming the folk traditions of the Soviet Union into a vital diplomatic tool that helped usher in a new era of cultural exchange. The author explores the company through multiple lenses of spectacle, Russian nationalism, and the Cultural Cold War to analyze its history and its enduring contributions to dance and global culture. The first English-language study of its kind, Shay blends academic research with personal anecdote to provide a nuanced analysis of Moiseyev’s importance in choreographic art and his place in the world of dance.

235 pages | 10 color plates | 7 x 9 | © 2019

Art: Art--General Studies

History: European History

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"An insightful study on a cultural phenomenon . . . . Provides an in-depth analysis of the actual choreography itself, as well the political background. If you enjoyed watching Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War, released in 2018, then this is an excellent academic accompaniment to the tragic story of a similar but fictitious dance troupe."

Russian Art + Culture

"Shay’s study of Moiseyev adds to the expanding research on the Cultural Cold War as well as the political role of dance within the Soviet Union. . . . His recounting of his own experiences dancing with this company provide firsthand accounts of Moiseyev’s influence on dance. Moiseyev’s continued importance is revealed further through Shay’s interviews with the dance company’s current director, Elena Shcherbakova, who discusses the company’s contemporary status within Russia. . . . An important contribution to dance and political history and appeals to students and scholars interested in dance and Soviet and post-Soviet politics."

Slavic Review

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