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Title:"The friendship of peoples": Soviet ballet, nationalities policy, and the artistic media, 1953-1968
Author(s):Hamm, Kristen E.
Advisor(s):Koenker, Diane P.
Contributor(s):Koenker, Diane P.
Department / Program:Russian,E European,Eurasn Ctr
Discipline:Russian, E Eur, Eurasian St
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Soviet Union--Cultural History
Soviet Union--Ballet
Soviet Union--Government Policy--Minorities
Abstract:This project places the art form of Soviet classical ballet within the political and cultural context of the Khrushchev-era Thaw. It traces the Soviet Union's long-standing nationalities policy--envisioned by Lenin even before 1917 and championed by Stalin throughout his tenure--and its connection to the proliferation of state-sponsored classical ballet theatres across the ethnically diverse, non-Russian regions and republics of the USSR. Classical ballet served a dual purpose in fulfilling the Soviet Union's claim to be the most culturally, scientifically, economically, and politically advanced country on earth. First, the internationally-heralded achievements of Russia's two oldest ballet institutions--the Bolshoi and Kirov Theatres--served to demonstrate Soviet cultural superiority to the rest of the world. Second, by founding state-sponsored ballet theatres in its peripheries, the Soviet Union utilized the art form of classical dance as a part of its civilizing mission to spread culture to its own "backward" regions. The artistic achievements of these provincial and republic ballet theatres served as a powerful source of propaganda, not only to Moscow and Leningrad, but also abroad, emphasizing the Soviet Union's dedication to cultural development even in traditionally under-developed regions.
Issue Date:2010-01-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2009 Kristen E. Hamm
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-01-06
Date Deposited:December 2

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