Marian Smith (Summer ’16) is professor of music at the University of Oregon. In fall 2004, she was recognized as the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College, and in 2007 she was given the Thomas F. Herman award for excellence in teaching. She has published two books: Ballet in Opera in the Age of Giselle, and La Sylphide: Paris 1832 and Beyond, as well as articles in both music and dance journals. She has collaborated extensively with Doug Fullington on devising two full-length ballets: Giselle (2011) with Artistic Director Peter Boal at PNB in Seattle and Paquita with Alexei Ratmansky at the Bavarian State Ballet (2014).
From Manuscript to Stage: Four Nineteenth-Century Ballets
A collaboration between Marian Smith and Doug Fullington
Surprisingly, tucked away in various archives, there exist dozens of hand-written documents offering very detailed information about how most of the classic nineteenth-century story ballets were originally performed. At the Center, Smith and Fullington wrote two chapters of their forthcoming book about these manuscripts, which disclose that the old ballets, when first performed, were full of variety, humor, strong characterizations, playfulness, musical savoir faire, and endlessly inventive choreography. Smith and Fullington’s premise is that new productions of these old ballets can benefit greatly if the knowledge imparted in these astonishing manuscripts is brought to bear; in short, that ballet can move forward by looking back.