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Crafted by Many Hands: Re-Reading Bronislava Nijinska's Early Memoirs

Garafola, Lynn

In 1981 Bronislava Nijinska's Early Memoirs, the last autobiography by a major figure in Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, was published to near universal acclaim. However, as the choreographer's notes, drafts, and early autobiographical manuscripts make clear, Early Memoirs is a composite work, crafted by multiple hands and harbouring within itself alternative and even contradictory readings of the dominant story. In a field that privileges first-person testimony, the composite nature of most dance autobiographies is highly problematic, at once undermining their narrative authority and forcing recognition of what might be called their multivocality. Early Memoirs, like other volumes of dance autobiography, belongs both to Nijinska and to her interpreters, even if their interests do not always coincide.

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Title
Dance Research
DOI
https://doi.org/10.3366/drs.2011.0002

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Academic Units
Dance (Barnard College)
Published Here
September 4, 2012