Levinson, Andre

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LEVINSON, ANDRE (1887–1933), dance critic and foremost writer on ballet in his time. Levinson was a professor of French literature in St. Petersburg, where he was born, and helped to edit a periodical on the imperial theaters. He became known as a brilliant critic of dance and a champion of the classical tradition. Leaving Russia after the 1917 Revolution, he settled in Paris in 1921 where he lectured on Russian literature and contributed to various journals. He was probably the first critic in France to approach ballet purely from the point of view of dance. He opposed the innovations of Fokine and Diaghilev, whom he regarded as having subordinated dancing to music and scenic elements. His biographies of dancers and people connected with the ballet included studies of the designer, Leon *Bakst (1923), the dancers and choreographers Noverre (1935), Marie Taglioni (1929) and Serge Lifar (1934). Among his books were La danse au théâtre (1924) and La danse d'aujourd'hui (1929). Levinson also wrote studies on the poets Théophile Gautier (1921) and Paul Valéry (1927).

[Marcia B. Siegel]