Limmud FSU Princeton 2013:
3-day Festival of Russian-Jewish Culture, Learning and Entertainment!
A truly unique event, organized and run entirely by volunteers, Limmud FSU has revolutionized pluralistic Jewish engagement of Russian-speaking Jews by involving them in an array of interactive workshops, intellectually-stimulating discussions, a festive Shabbat celebration, controversial debates, film screenings, artistic performances, music, dancing and much more.
Join us on March 15 – 17th, 2013 and experience the magic of Limmud FSU!
REGISTER // Questions? Contact email@example.com
Olga Gershenson & Psoy Korolenko will be there, among many others!
(via Soviet Samovar)
Kadya Molodowsky recites one of her poems for Chekow in her Grand street spartment during the winter of 1970.
Photo by Arnold Chekow
(via Yiddish Book Center)
more Kadya Molodowsky
On the eve of the Sabbath I am always tormented by the dense sorrow of memory.
Isaac Babel, “Gedali” (via broletariat)
From Cavalry Army (Конармия), a collection of short stories first published in the 1920s.
more Isaac Babel
Costume design by Léon Bakst for Ida as Saint Sebastian
After leaving the Ballets Russes, Ida Rubinstein formed her own dance company, using her inherited wealth, and commissioned several lavish productions. In 1911, she performed in Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien. The creative team was Mikhail Fokine (choreography); Leon Bakst (design); Gabriele d’Annunzio (text) and score by Debussy. This was both a triumph for its stylized modernism and a scandal; the Archbishop of Paris prohibited Catholics from attending because St. Sebastian was being played by a woman and a Jew. [x]
more on Ida Rubinstein
more on Léon Bakst
Ida Lvovna Rubinstein (Russian: Ида Львовна Рубинштейн; 5 October 1885 – 20 September 1960) was a Russian ballerina, actress, patron and Belle Époque figure.
An idol of the fin de siècle renowned for her beauty, mimetic powers and enormous wealth, Ida Rubinstein was born in 1885 in Kharkov, Ukraine. She was the youngest of four children of Leon (Lev) Romanovich Rubinstein and his wife Ernestina Isaakovna Van Jung. The family was wealthy, cultured and Russified, a merchant-banking clan that had moved up the social ranks.
By 1892, both parents were dead, and Ida and her oldest sister Rashel (later known as Irène) were sent to live with a cousin in St. Petersburg. [In 1904] she left to study drama at the Moscow Theatre School; three years later she graduated from its St. Petersburg counterpart. By then she was studying dance with Michel Fokine (1880–1942), the young, innovative choreographer who created “The Dance of the Seven Veils” for Rubinstein’s 1908 production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. After the play was banned, Rubinstein performed the dance alone as a concert number, scandalizing Tout-Petersburg by shedding everything but a brassière and a skirt of beads.
Sergei Diaghilev took her with the Ballets Russes and she danced the title role of Cléopâtre in the Paris season of 1909, and Zobéide in Scherezade in 1910. For Paris audiences she embodied the erotic temptation of the East, a view enhanced by her unconventional private life, which included lovers of both sexes and posing nude for painters Valentin Serov (1865–1911) and Romaine Brooks (1874–1970).
A new era in Rubinstein’s multifaceted career opened in 1928, when she formed her own ballet troupe, Les Ballets de Madame Ida Rubinstein. Although the enterprise as a whole was praised, Rubinstein herself was sharply criticized for dancing on pointe and taking the lead in every production. She was now forty-five.
In 1936 Rubinstein converted to Catholicism from Russian Orthodoxy, the faith listed on her Moscow Theatre School records. For the Nazis, of course, Ida was Jewish. When the Germans invaded France, she fled to England, the way eased by her long-time lover Walter Guinness (1880–1944).
Returning to Paris after the Liberation, she made a few half-hearted attempts to return to the stage. She withdrew from public life, sold her townhouse on the Place des Etats-Unis, and settled in Vence. Here she lived in strict seclusion, reading the Bible and occasionally visiting the Abbey of Cîteaux.
(via Wikipedia & Jewish Women’s Archive)
Bakst’s Self-portrait, 1893, oil on cardboard, 34 x 21 cm., The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Léon Samoilovitch Bakst (Russian: Лео́н Никола́евич Бакст) (10 May 1866 – 28 December 1924) was a Russian painter and scene- and costume designer. Born as Lev (Leib) Samoilovich Rosenberg (Лев Самойлович Розенберг).
Leon was born in Grodno (currently Belarus) in a middle-class Jewish family. After graduating from gymnasium, he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts as a noncredit student, working part-time as a book illustrator. He was expelled from the Academy after depicting figures in the Pietà as impoverished Jews.
Beginning in 1909, Bakst worked mostly as a stage-designer, designing sets for Greek tragedies, and, in 1908, he made a name for himself as a scene-painter for Diaghilev with the Ballets Russes. During this time, he lived in western Europe because, as a Jew, he did not have the right to live permanently outside the Pale of Settlement.
During his visits to Saint Petersburg he taught in Zvantseva’s school, where one of his students was Marc Chagall (1908–1910).
(via Wikipedia & Yiddishkayt)
Valentin Serov painting Isaac Levitan’s portrait in his home-studio. (1893)
more on Valentin Serov
more on Isaac Levitan