My work is a study of the world of celebrity surrounding the great Russian dancer Mathilde Kshesinskaia from approximately the start of her dance career (1890) through the Russian Revolution (1917). Using memoirs and press sources, I will show that the nature of Kshesinskaia’s celebrity changed in this period, alongside the relaxation of the press and the pressures of World War I. While Kshesinskaia’s fame was originally limited to her fame as a prestigious dancer, known in the press and her audience as such, the war years expanded and refashioned her fame, making her, in aristocratic rumor and popular press alike, a symbol of the flaws of the imperial government. Rather than merely serving as an entertaining distraction, celebrity in the era of the revolution created fodder for attack on the imperial state.
|Keywords:||Ballet, Russia, Representation, Culture|
Doctoral Candidate, History Department, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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