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Mar 3, 2010

Yet, Walther’s poems give us the picture not only of a great artistic genius, but of a strenuous, passionate, very human and very lovable character. His talents and strong views became required by German society, when empire and papacy started their struggle in 1197. Walther took side with German independence and unity which gave him a place of significance in history. Till the end of his days, Walther remained a faithful Catholic, which is confirmed by religious poems. Nevertheless, he was fervently opposing the extreme claims of the Roman popes, whom he attacked with bitterness, expressing his deep patriotic feelings.

Walther never switched sides and a highly intelligent new emperor Frederick II held in high esteem poet’s genius and zeal. Thus, Walther received desired recognition and even a small fief in Franconia, that gave him a home and fixed position. Yet, he was complaining that this fief had little value. There is some evidence, that Frederick made Walther the tutor of his son, but this evidence based on one of his lyrics is disputed by modern researchers.

Walther von der Vogelweide did not stay immediately at his new fief long, he traveled for a while and only then settled at his new place. From there he was urging German princes to take part in the Sixth Crusade in 1228 but, did not participate in it himself, or at least did not go further than Tirol. In a beautiful poem he paints the change that had come over the scenes of his childhood and made his life seem a thing dreamed. When he was dying in 1230, he put in his will the request to feed the birds at his tomb every day.

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Posted: Mar 3, 2010 12:03pm
Oct 17, 2009

If you could ask any Russian ballet fan of the 19th who is his favorite male ballet dancer, there would come up only one name - Paul Gerdt.  He spent fifty six years on the ballet stage and performed in the roles of nearly every lead male character of famous Russian ballets.  For his extraordinary ballet technique and dancing Paul Gerdt  received the mot prestigious title of the Premier Danseur of all three significant theaters in the tsarist Russia: the Imperial Ballet, The Bolshoy Kammeny Theater and Mariinsky Theater.

Gerdt had the unusual longevity for any male ballet dancer: he was born in 1844, started performing very young and retired one year before his death in 1917.  Public loved and worshiped him. In addition, to his brilliant career and titles, audience nicknamed him Blue Cavalier.  Admiring public also awarded him with another title: the Prince of Saint Petersburg stage.  This was true enough because Paul Gerdt was the first to dance Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, and Prince Coqueluche in The Nutcracker.

Read on ...

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Posted: Oct 17, 2009 1:00pm


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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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