On May 1, 2017, please join the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU for a seminar, “Ballet in the Cold War: A Soviet-American Exchange,” featuring CBA Fellow and musicologist Anne Searcy.
Searcy will discuss the Bolshoi Ballet’s first-ever tour of the United States in 1959, in anticipation of the company’s visit to New York this summer. The tour was conducted as part of the Soviet-American exchange, an effort to improve cultural relations between the Cold War’s two superpowers. The highlights of the tour were Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Stone Flower. Because Prokofiev’s music was so well known in the West, tour organizers hoped that the music of these two ballets could mediate between American expectations for Russian ballet and newer Soviet models. But while public reception for the tour was enthusiastic, critical reviews labeled the ballets conservative. In this talk, Searcy will draw together archival material and interviews to explore how ballet played a role in shaping the Soviet-American relationship during the Cold War.
This event is co-sponsored by The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU.
Image courtesy of RIA Novosti archive.