Dancers: Tanzgruppe Ellen Tels: Mila Cirul - Nina Schelemskaja (War Dance) by Max Pollak

Dancers: Tanzgruppe Ellen Tels: Mila Cirul - Nina Schelemskaja (War Dance) by Max Pollak

Dancers: Tanzgruppe Ellen Tels: Mila Cirul - Nina Schelemskaja (War Dance)

Max Pollak

Title

Dancers: Tanzgruppe Ellen Tels: Mila Cirul - Nina Schelemskaja (War Dance)

 
Artist

Max Pollak

  1886 - 1970 (biography)
Year
c. 1925  
Technique
etching and color aquatint 
Image Size
19 x 21 11/16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
38 of 50  
Annotations
pencil titled and editioned 
Reference
 
Paper
cream wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
22606 
Price
$600.00 
Description

While in Vienna Max Pollak was part of the avant-garde dance scene. He did a series of intaglio portraits of dancers, usually costumed and posed from one of their noted performances.

"Ellen Tels (aka Ellen Rabanek [1885–1944]), the daughter of a German baker in Moscow. Tels pursued a kind of pantomimic dance derived from Delsartian principles, although she, too, had studied with Mordkin. Her "dance idylls" attracted audiences in Germany, Austria, and even England between 1911 and 1914, partly because she aligned pantomimic movement with literary scenarios, as in her Chrisis (1912), coordinated with music by Reinhold Glière, which evoked erotic texts by Pierre Louys (Suritz 407).

Tels and Cirul began dancing as a pair, but in 1919 Tels saw no future for her company in Russia and moved to Vienna, taking Cirul and three other women with her. Soon her school-company, which briefly included Ellinor Tordis, was producing dance pantomimes of great refinement and very subtle, delicate bodily rhythms, free of metricality…" ('Empire of Ecstasy, Solo Dancing", Karl Toepfer, U of C Press, 1997).

Mila Cirul (1901 - 1977) was a Latvian dancer who trained at the Moscow Ballet under famed teacher Mikael Mordkin before pursuing modern dance, inspired by Isadora Duncan. She studied with influential modern dancer Ellen Tels, with whom she started the Ellen Tels School in Vienna in 1919. She eventually became known for her solo work as well, performing in the operas of Berlin, Vienna, and Hanover, taking up a brief stints with the Munich Dance Congress and Margarethe Wallmann's Tanzegruppe.

In 1932 she moved to Paris where she found fame as an avant garde performer, known for her passionate performances that contrasted with the classical compositions she danced to. She continued to dance until the 1940s when she began teaching, becoming a mentor to many of Paris' most famous modern dancers until her retirement in 1962.

Tels School dancer Schelemskaja-Schlesnaja (1897-1983) married Rudolf Bing (1902-1997) in 1929 in Vienna and the pair went on to England where they became British citizens in 1946. Bing then took a job in New York in 1949 as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera and the rest is history.