‘Kinetic Los Angeles’ heralds impact of Russian ballet in California

Dance · Ideas & Opinion

This startling and marvelous image of a ballerina garbed in an unprecedented and surely unreplicated costume graces the cover of “Kinetic Los Angeles: Russian Emigres in the City of Self-Transformation.” The journal, the 20th edition of the esteemed “Experiment,” has just been published by the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern California in tandem with Brill Publishers in The Netherlands. It is available for sale on line.

Photograph data: Elise Reiman in Adolph Bolm’s The Spirit of the Factory at the Hollywood Bowl, 1931. Costume by Nicholas Remisoff. Photo courtesy of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Professor John E. Bowlt, an esteemed scholar of Russian art history who heads up the Institute is editor-in-chief of “Experiment.” Helping Bowlt to illustrate the unique traits of southern Californian dance history is guest editor Lorin Johnson. Writes Lorin:

This volume of Experiment is dedicated to the contributions of Russian performers and artists who lived and worked in Los Angeles in the fields of dance performance, visual arts, and film, exploring how the city was influenced by their presence as well as the reasons that drew them to Southern California.

Aligned with the modernist endeavors of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, yet decidedly “LA” in style with their proximity to Hollywood, Russian artists changed the landscape of choreography, performance, and design for both the concert stage and the silver screen.

Contributing arts and dance writers and their essays:

  • kosloff-satanKenneth Archer and Millicent Hodson: “SACRE 1913: Shamanic Sources & Ultramodern Forms”
  • Lorin Johnson: “Degrees of Separation: Lester Horton’s Le Sacre du printemps at The Hollywood Bowl”
  • Karen Goodman: “Synthesis in Motion: The Dance Theatre Work of Benjamin Zemach in Los Angeles”
  • John E. Bowlt and Elizabeth Durst: “’The Art of Concealing Imperfection’: Léon Bakst and Southern California”
  • Debra Levine: “Theodore Kosloff & Cecil B. DeMille Meet Madam Satan”
  • Lorin Johnson and Mark Konecny: “Adolph Bolm’s Cinematic Ballet: The Spirit of the Factory”
  • Oleg Minin: “Russian Artists in California: The Case of Nicholas Remisoff (1887‐1975)”
  • Lynn Garafola: “In Search of Eden: Bronislava Nijinska in California”
  • Donald Bradburn and Lorin Johnson: “Fleeing the Soviet Union, Dancing on the West Coast”

EXPERIMENT 20, “Kinetic Los Angeles: Russian Émigrés in the City of Self-Transformation” | Brill Publishers

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