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Katherine Mansfield and Russia$
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Galya Diment, Gerri Kimber, and W. Todd Martin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474426138

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426138.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Mansfield, Movement and the Ballets Russes

Mansfield, Movement and the Ballets Russes

(p.89) Mansfield, Movement and the Ballets Russes
Katherine Mansfield and Russia

Ira Nadel

Edinburgh University Press

Mansfield and the world of the Ballets Russes, is the focus of this discussion of the importance of movement and dance for her writing and life. Incorporating aspects of Russian dance, especially its expressiveness, gesture and experimentation, into her prose becomes an important feature of her writing marked in part by the physical actions of her characters. Balancing the Chekhovian dispassion of her short stories was a vitality located in her incorporation of elements of the Ballets Russes which became, for a period, the intellectual and fashionable centre of London. Part of their originality was collaboration with dancers and choreographers working with set designers and musicians. The Ballets Russes also confirmed her own artistic efforts to unite novelty and tribalism, especially in her New Zealand stories. Her co-editing Rhythm became another venue for her support of the innovative work produced by Diaghilev, choreographed by Massine, costumed by Léon Bakst and highlighted by sets designed by Cocteau and Picasso. Sharing the impact of the Ballets Russes with high profile admirers, Mansfield applied their originality to her own efforts recognising that their overall impact was not technique alone but the expression of technique into idea as the Times wrote in June 1911.

Keywords:   Dance, Movement, Ballets Russes, Mansfield, Diaghilev, Russia, Rhythm

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