52 results in English
Tsukishima
Tsukishima is a Kōwaka-mai (dance drama) ballad that dates from the Muromachi period (1336−1573). It is also called Hyōgo or Hyōgo tsukishima. The literal meaning of “tsukishima” is "making an island," and the ballad is based on an episode in which Taira no Kiyomori (1118−81), a general and noble, built a new port in Fukuhara, Hyōgo. The story starts with Kiyomori's decision to build the port. To ensure the success of the construction, 30 people are captured in order to be made human sacrifices to the gods ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Grand Extraordinary Surprising Spectacle
This poster, dated 1835 and printed by the firm of Andreola in Treviso, Italy, advertises a show by the Acrobatic, Athletic, and Olympic Company, one of the last touring companies that performed in theaters in what was known as an acrobatic “cultured” repertoire show. Such shows combined dance and pantomime, with artists playing specific roles. Popular throughout the 18th century, the shows were no longer in vogue by this period.  Over time, the acrobatic artists, such as Pietro Bono, the tightrope walker featured in this poster, were incorporated into the ...
South Korea, Dancers Performing Tongyong Drum Dance (Victory Dance)
This image, showing four female Korean dancers, is one of 43 photographs of Korea taken by George Clayton Foulk between 1883 and 1886 and held at the American Geographical Society Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Foulk’s note on the image reads: “Kisaing dancing girls of the Governors House at Chung Ju-Choula Province, taken as they were about to execute a drum dance for my edification.” Foulk was a young naval officer who served as a U.S. diplomat in Korea in the 1880s. He was first sent to ...
Maya Plisetskaya in the Role of The Great Barefoot
This photograph was taken in 1977 by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) as part of the series "Great Dancers of the Twentieth Century. Isadora Duncan−Maya Plisetskaya." That year marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of American dancer Isadora Duncan (1877−1927), in honor of which French choreographer Maurice Béjart (1927−2007) created the ballet Isadora at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. By this time, the name and work of the “Great Barefoot,” the name given to Duncan by her contemporaries, had become almost a myth. Béjart's Isadora ...
Teacher and Student. Alexei Yermolaev and Vladimir Vasiliev
Photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) took this picture in 1971 at the Bolshoi Theater. Two legends of the world of ballet are seen in the rehearsal room: Alexei Yermolaev (1910−75), a teacher, and Vladimir Vasiliev (born 1940), a principal dancer of the Bolshoi company. A graduate of the school of dance in Leningrad, in 1926 Yermolaev became a leading dancer of the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater (the Mariinsky Theater). He boldly challenged the supremacy of the ballerina and made men's dance more dramatic and virtuoso. He was ...
Birth of a Ballet "Béjart Style"
This photograph is from the series "The choreographer Maurice Béjart." It was taken in 1978 by Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) during the Moscow performances of Romeo and Juliet by the Brussels-based company, Ballet of the Twentieth Century. Set to music by Berlioz, the ballet was performed at the State Kremlin Palace of Congresses only twice. Ekaterina Maximova (1939−2009), a ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, performed the role of Juliet at the invitation of choreographer Maurice Béjart (1927−2007). Romeo was danced once by Vladimir Vasiliev, a principal dancer of ...
Grigorovich Dancing
This picture, taken in 1973 by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010), shows the choreographer Yuri Grigorovich (born 1927) during a rehearsal of the ballet Legend of Love at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Grigorovich did not simply go through the movements; he performed them, showing the dancers their parts. Grigorovich was born in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg), graduated from the Leningrad Choreographic School, and joined the ballet company of the Kirov State Opera and Ballet Theater (now the Mariinsky Theater). He performed solo, character, and grotesque roles. He began working as ...
George Balanchine's Music
This photograph from the series "Choreographer George Balanchine" was taken in 1972 by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010). When the New York City Ballet, led by George Balanchine (1904−1983), was on a tour in Moscow, the company visited the Moscow Academic Choreography School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as the Moscow State Academy of Choreography). Mr. B, as they called Balanchine, gave an open lesson with his dancers on the stage of the school theater. Balanchine was born Georgi Balanchivadze in Saint Petersburg, son of Georgian composer Meliton ...
Dancing Balanchine's Geometry
This photograph, from the collection "Stars of the Mariinsky Ballet of the 21st Century," was taken in Moscow in 2008 by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) during a tour by the Mariinsky Theater. It shows ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina (born 1973) and her partner Danila Korsuntsev (born 1974) rehearsing George Balanchine's ballet Symphony in C to the music of Georges Bizet. Balanchine (1904−83), born Georgi Balanchivadze, a Russian dancer and world-renowned choreographer of Georgian origin, began his dance career at the Mariinsky Theater. His ballets require not only refined ...
"Death of the Rose." Danced by Maya Plisetskaya and Alexander Godunov
This image is from the series “Variations on the Theme ‘Death of the Rose’.” It was taken by Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) in 1977 at the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow. For the first time, after decades of prohibition, the leading ballet troupe of the Soviet Union invited a foreign choreographer—Roland Petit (1924−2011) from France. An admirer of Maya Plisetskaya (born 1925), the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, Petit brought to the Moscow stage for her a fragment from his ballet La Rose Malade set to the music of ...
Mysterious Kasian Goleizovsky
This photograph is from a series about the choreographer Kasian Goleizovsky (1892–1970), by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010). It was taken during the staging of the ballet Layla and Majnun to music by Sergei Balasanyan. It shows Natalia Bessmertnova (1941–2008) and Goleizovsky in the rehearsal hall of the Bolshoi Theater. Bessmertnova joined the Bolshoi in 1961, where she remained as a prima ballerina for more than three decades. Goleizovsky was inspired by the innovative ideas of two outstanding choreographers, Alexander Gorsky and Michel Fokine, and his interests expanded ...
Ekaterina Maximova's "Mazurka"
Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) took this photograph in 1968. It shows Ekaterina Maximova (1939–2009), a ballerina from the Bolshoi Theater, dancing Mazurka (from the ballet Skryabiniana) created by Kasian Goleizovsky (1892–1970). Choreographed specifically for Maximova, the dance was first performed in 1960 in a concert program. Maximova graduated in 1958 from the Moscow Ballet School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography), where she was taught by Elizaveta Gerdt. She was accepted into the Bolshoi Theater. A year later, during a tour in ...
Mikhail Baryshnikov in the Role of Vestris
This photograph from the series "Diverse Baryshnikov" was taken by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) in 1969 at the First International Ballet Competition in Moscow. The miniature ballet Vestris by choreographer Leonid Yakobson (1904−75) became one of the most exciting surprises at the competition. Baryshnikov (born 1948) was able to render the life story of the most famous dancer of the 18th century. A braggart and schemer, Auguste Vestris called himself the King of the Dance and used to say: "Today, Europe knows three great men—Frederick the Great ...
Like a Shot from a Bow. Nina Sorokina and Yuri Vladimirov Dancing
Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) took this photograph in 1965 at the Bolshoi Theater during a performance of The Rite of Spring danced by the Bolshoi Theater soloists Nina Sorokina (1942–2011) and Yuri Vladimirov (born 1942). The performances at the Bolshoi Theater that year were the first time that this ballet, choreographed by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasiliev to Igor Stravinsky's music, was performed in the Soviet Union. Sorokina and Vladimirov, the most remarkable representatives of the Moscow school of dance during the 1960s and 1970s, danced the main ...
Maris Liepa's Main Role
Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) took this photograph in 1971 during a performance of the ballet Spartacus at the Bolshoi Theater. Maris Liepa (1936–1989) danced the role of Crassus. Liepa’s professional dance career started in his native Riga, Latvia, but he completed his studies at the Moscow Ballet School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) in 1955. He worked at the Opera and Ballet Theater in Riga and at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theater. In 1960, he became a soloist ...
The Incomparable Marina Semenova
Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) took this photograph in 1958 during a lesson given by Marina Semenova (1908−2010) at the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow. Semenova was born in Saint Petersburg and graduated from the Leningrad Choreographic School, from the class of Agrippina Vaganova (1879−1951). Her talent manifested itself early. She became well known at the age of 13 after performing in the school production of The Magic Flute. In 1925 she was accepted into the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater (before 1919 and after 1991 the Mariinsky Theater). Despite the ...
The Goddess of Dance. Galina Ulanova
Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) took this photograph of Galina Ulanova (1910–98) in the ballet Les Sylphides at the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, in 1961. Ulanova was born in Saint Petersburg. In 1928 she graduated from the class of Agrippina Vaganova (1879–1951) at the Leningrad Choreographic School. Ulanova exuded extraordinary magnetism. Forgoing fashionable virtuosity, her dancing was characterized by nuances and half tones. Ulanova was not only a great dancer; she was also a great tragic actress, perhaps the most significant in the history of ballet. Her dance career began ...
Dragonfly. Olga Lepeshinskaia
Leonid Zhdanov (1927–2010) took this picture of Olga Lepeshinskaia (1916–2008) in 1959. Lepeshinskaia, a star of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, from the 1930s through the 1950s, graduated from the Moscow Ballet School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) in 1933 and immediately became a soloist, dancing lyrical roles in The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, and Red Poppy. In 1940 she successfully danced the part of Kitri in Don Quixote, which became her signature role. Lepeshinskaia was not ideally built for classical ballet ...
First among Equals. Vladimir Vasiliev
Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) took this photograph of Vladimir Vasiliev (born 1940) in the role of Majnun in 1968 at the Bolshoi Theater during the rehearsals of the ballet Layla and Majnun choreographed by Kasian Goleizovsky (1889−1950). Vasiliev was born in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow Ballet School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) in 1958 in the class of Michael Gabovich. His first main role at the Bolshoi was that of Bacchus in Walpurgis Night. This was followed by the role ...
Giselle. Natalia Bessmertnova
This photograph was taken by Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) in 1975 during the filming of the ballet Giselle, directed by Vladimir Grave. The title role was performed by Natalia Bessmertnova (1941−2008). Bessmertnova graduated from the Moscow Academic Choreography School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) in 1961 and was admitted to the Bolshoi Theater. She made her debut in the ballet Les Sylphides choreographed by Fokine. A year later, her Giselle came as an artistic revelation to her contemporaries. Bessmertnova introduced a whole ...
"Narcissus." Nikolai Tsiskaridze
This photograph taken by Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) in 2008 is from his “Narcissus” series. It shows Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a leading dancer of the Bolshoi Theater, rehearsing the short ballet Narcissus by Kasian Goleizovsky (in Ulanova's interpretation). Tsiskaridze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1973, went to Tbilisi School of Choreography, and in 1987 moved to Moscow to continue his studies in the class of Peter Pestov. He began dancing at the Bolshoi Theater in 1992. His teachers were Nikolai Simachev, Marina Semenova, Galina Ulanova, and Nicholas Fadeechev. Tsiskaridze ...
At the Dance Lesson
This photograph of students at the Moscow Academic Choreography School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) was taken by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) during a dance class in 1972. The history of the Moscow school of dance goes back to the late 18th century. Empress Catherine the Great founded the school, which was named the Teaching House. The first teachers of dance came from Italy and France. Ballet was just starting to enter Russian culture, although it was already popular in Europe. The ...
Jorge Donn in the Ballet "The Rite of Spring"
Leonid Zhdanov (1927−2010) took this photograph in 1978 during the Moscow tour of the Brussels-based Ballet of the Twentieth Century when it performed at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. It shows Jorge Donn (1947−1992) dancing the main role in the ballet The Rite of Spring, set to the music by Igor Stravinsky, and choreographed by Maurice Béjart (1927−2007). This ballet, first staged in 1959, played a crucial role in the career of the French choreographer. Its success encouraged him to found a new company and a contemporary ...
Dancing Zamba, Argentina
This photograph shows a couple in traditional costumes dancing the zamba, one of Argentina's most popular dance forms. The dance originated in Peru in the Creole genre known as the zamacueca, which was adopted in Chile as the cueca. The zamba is a slow dance in three-quarter time played primarily on guitar and bombo legüero (the indigenous Argentine bass drum). The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrating life and culture in the ...
Dancing
This photograph shows male and female dancers dressed in folk costume dancing around a maypole. Maypole dancing is a form of folk dance, brought to the Caribbean by the English, in which participants dance in a circle, each holding a colored ribbon attached to a pole. The ribbons are intertwined and plaited either to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers then can retrace their steps in order to unravel the ribbons. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the ...
Candomblé in Bahía (Brazil) Ritual Dance
This photograph from Brazil shows a group of women in traditional dress of African origin performing a ritual dance. The dance and dress are associated with Candomblé, a religion based on African traditions, with elements borrowed from Christianity, that is practiced chiefly in Brazil. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas, many taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established ...
Candomblé in Bahia (Brazil) Omolú Daughter
This photograph from Brazil shows a woman performing a dance wearing an elaborate costume made of grass and shells, with a portion of it covering her face, and holding a broom, the handle of which is also decorated with shells and grass. The dance and the costume are associated with Candomblé, a religion based on African traditions, with elements borrowed from Christianity, that is practiced chiefly in Brazil. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 ...
Conga Dancers
This photograph from Cuba shows dancers and drummers similarly adorned in costumes of balloon-like trousers, long coats, and head wraps made of the same shiny fabric, moving in a long conga line. The conga is a dance that originated in Cuba, and in which the participants form a winding line, take three steps forwards or backwards, and then kick. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas ...
African Dance
This photograph from Cuba shows a young male dancer in traditional dress, adorned with a treble clef, a musical bar, and necklaces, performing a dance to the beat of drummers at the side of a thatched roof hut. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April ...
Fiesta in a Village Near Quito
This photograph shows indigenous peoples in a village near Quito, Ecuador, performing a traditional dance in costumes with feathered headdresses. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment ...
Dance Performance
This photograph from Grenada shows two young men performing a representational dance, watched by onlookers. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common ...
Dance and Popular Dress
This photograph from Haiti shows four dancers elegantly dressed in old-fashioned clothes. The men wear suits with large stripes and knee-length pants; the women are in flowing gowns with tall head wraps on which hats are perched. They are dancing to the sound of drummers playing on elaborately-decorated drums. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on ...
Fiesta Dress
This photograph from Haiti shows a group of male and female dancers dressed in colorful costumes while performing a dance outdoors in brilliant sunlight. The men are attired in bold-striped outfits with balloon-bottomed pants and straw hats, the women in floral dresses with tall headwear of matching print. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS ...
Oaxacan Feather Dancer
This photograph from Mexico shows the imposing figure of an Oaxacan dancer in an elaborate costume that features intricate, detailed designs of feathers and beads on the headdress, breastplate, and shield. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western ...
Masks Used in Native Dance
This photograph from Mexico shows an indigenous dancer wearing seven masks around his head that are used in a native dance. Onlookers wear the traditional Mexican poncho. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS ...
Dance
This photograph of folk dancers in Nicaragua is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Since then ...
“Bury dance” Carnival, Peru
This photograph of a carnival scene in Cuzco, Peru, shows a group of indigenous men, women, and children in ethnic costume performing a dance. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which ...
Fiesta “Huayno,” a Folk Dance
This photograph shows a group of indigenous dancers in Peru performing a folk dance. The huayno is the most representative folk dance of the Andes. It combines pre-Colombian origins with later European influences, and encompasses dozens of regional variations. The dance is performed by couples who perform turns and movements featuring hops and a tap-like zapateo to mark time. The instruments used to accompany the huayno include the quena, charango, harp, and violin. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States ...
Devil Dancer Mask
This photograph shows a scary mask used in the Festival of the Virgin of Carmen that takes place in the Peruvian town of Paucartambo every July. The Virgin is the patron saint of the mestizo peoples, and the costumes worn at the festival represent the demons that the Virgin is credited with driving away. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were ...
Esquimo Dancers Highlighting Fur Rendezvous
This photograph of male and female Eskimo dancers is from the state of Alaska in the United States. Eskimos are the main indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. They also are known by their own word for themselves, Inuit, which means “people.” The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers ...
Hawaii Religious Dance, Each Movement has a Meaning
This photograph of three young women performing a religious dance in traditional costume is from the state of Hawaii in the United States. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they ...
Fiesta Dance Chichamaya in Zulia
This photograph shows indigenous people in the state of Zulia, Venezuela, performing a traditional dance. The northwestern part of Zulia is inhabited by the Guajiro Indians, the largest indigenous group in Venezuela. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the ...