Vaganova Today + Allan Jacobs

Two Book Events This Weekend

Sunday, October 9th, 1:00 pm

Vaganova Today:
The Preservation of a
Pedagogical Tradition

Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951) is revered as the visionary who first codified the Russian system of classical ballet training. The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, founded on impeccable technique and centuries of tradition, has a reputation for elite standards, and its graduates include Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, and Diana Vishneva. Yet the “Vaganova method” has come under criticism in recent years.

In Vaganova Today, Catherine Pawlick traces Vaganova’s story from her early years as a ballet student in tsarist Russia to her career as a dancer with the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet to her work as a pedagogue and choreographer. Pawlick then goes beyond biography to address Vaganova’s legacy today, offering the first-ever English translations of primary source materials and intriguing interviews with pedagogues and dancers from the Academy and the Mariinsky Ballet, including some who studied with Vaganova herself.

Author Catherine E. Pawlick danced with ballet companies in the United States before moving to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lived for six years, observing classes at the Vaganova Academy and rehearsals and performances at the Mariinsky Theatre. Fluent in French and Russian, she has written on dance for the San Francisco Chronicle, Ballet Review, and Dance Europe.

Sunday, October 9, 2:30 pm

Allan Jacobs – The Good City
Reflections & Imaginations

For decades, Jacobs has been one of the world’s greatest philosophers of urban design; mostly retired now, he remains thoughtfully engaged in the field which he did much to lead in a continuing quest to enhance the livability of densely built cities.  Jacobs was director of planning for San Francisco during the building boom of the late 60s and early 70s, taught at U.C. Berkeley for years, and conceived and executed major projects in such diverse locales as Cleveland, Pittsburgh during its “renaissance” years, and Calcutta, India. He has also consulted and worked in Curitiba, Brazil, Rome, Japan, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver, and many US cities.  With his wife, Elizabeth McDonald, he re-designed San Francisco’s Octavia Boulevard in the wake of the 1989 earthquake and the subsequent removal of the “Central Freeway” spur that had dominated Hayes Valley.

Jacobs will read various essays from his recent book, which ranges widely according the author’s whims and preoccupations, yielding a glimpse into Jacobs’ broad and humanistic outlook on our complexly interwoven lives.