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Bolshoi Theatre Photographs on Display in Library

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stop by the Canizaro Library’s second floor gallery area to view amazing photographs by Marc Haegeman of performances at the Bolshoi Theatre. All photographs are housed in the library’s permanent collections.

Founded as a private institution in Moscow around 1776 by Prince Urusov and an Englishman called Michael Maddox, the Bolshoi Theatre gradually became a company of 155 dancers by 1850.  Although the Maryinsky Theatre was the site of most of the creative work produced in Russia during the 19th century, the Bolshoi did serve as debut theatre for  several important ballets: Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote (1869) and an early version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake choreographed by Julius Reisinger (1877).

In Marc Haegeman’s photos we view one art form through another: the art of ballet through the art of photography.  His photographs are not of poses but of real performance moments.  His challenge is to capture the technical precision, emotional power, and timeless grace of ballet without affecting the performance itself.  He aims to catch the dancers’ artistic and physical prowess in a way that is pleasing to the eye and causes an emotional impact. 

The Canizaro Library’s exhibit includes photos from Don Quixote, Giselle, La Sylphide, and Swan Lake.