Bronislava Nijinska

Early Memoirs

Bronislava Nijinska

Book Pages: 640 Illustrations: Published: October 1992

Editor: Irina Nijinska

Translator: Jean Rawlinson

Contributor: Anna Kisselgoff

General Interest > Biography, Letters, Memoirs, Theater and Performance > Dance

Now in paperback, Bronislava Nijinska: Early Memoirs—originally published in 1981—has been hailed by critics, scholars, and dancers alike as the definitive source of firsthand information on the early life of the great Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950). This memoir, recounted here with verve and stunning detail by the late Bronislava Nijinska (1891–1972)—Nijinsky's sister and herself a major twentieth-century dancer and leading choreographer of the Diaghilev era—offers a season-by-season chronicle of their childhood and early artistic development. Written with feeling and charm, these insightful memoirs provide an engrossingly readable narrative that has the panoramic sweep and colorful vitality of a Russian novel.


“The story of the last years of Russian imperial ballet and the florescence of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes is familiar to most readers. . . . but Nijinska’s book stands out as the best of these. Unlike the majority of the Russian Ballet’s historians, Nijinska was near the nerve center of the Ballets Russes. . . . For serious students of the dance of the Diaghilev period, Nijinska’s accounts of the dances and dancing of the time prove invaluable.” — Tim Scholl, Slavic Review

"[These memoirs] are remarkable for their charm, their substance, and their transparent integrity. . . . [They] offer us . . . a firsthand account of what Nijinsky said and did on the stage and off, during the first twenty-five years of his life. When we close the book, we know him as never before." — John Russell , New York Review of Books

"A revelation on several counts. . . " — Marcia B. Siegel , Washington Post Book World

"Of unprecedented value are the insights [Nijinska] gives of how Nijinsky developed both his and her technique." — Julie Kavanagh , TLS

"With this posthumous volume of reminiscences, Bronislava Nijinska begins at last to emerge from the obscurity which has long enveloped her." — Dale Harris , Ballet News

Nijinska fills in details of her brother's childhood . . . and succeeds--where all the rest fail—in making him human." — Holly Brubach , New York Times Book Review

"Early Memoirs . . . is a book that not only paints a detailed canvas of ballet in turn-of-the-century Russia, but does so with an attention to fact and an appreciation of artistic issues that reflect the same analytical intelligence that Nijinska revealed in her own choreography." — Lynn Garafola, author of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes


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Price: $35.95

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The late Irina Nijinksi (1913–1991), was Bronislava's only child and literary executrix.

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1295-6
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