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Nadine Meisner

In her former life Nadine Meisner was a London-based dance critic. She was an editor with the monthly magazine Dance & Dancers and a writer for many national newspapers, her first job being with The Sunday Times and her last with The Independent. After more than twenty years she abandoned journalism, to pursue a long-held passion for the work of the nineteenth century ballet master Marius Petipa and embark on a PhD about his long career in St Petersburg. Her doctoral dissertation is now the basis of a book she is preparing for publication by Oxford University Press, to coincide with the bicentenary of Petipa’s birth in 2017.

 

Being superbly well-connected, the executive members of the Likhachev Foundation are fast-trackers and enablers. They ensure that researchers are pointing in the right direction for their goals and they oil their paths, initiating all-important contacts with relevant persons and institutions. In my case, they organized meetings with the impressive curators and librarians of St Petersburg’s State Museum of Theatre and Music, and the State Theatre Library, and they found a helper to assist me in ploughing through the daunting quantities of documents in some of the city’s archives. As a result, I was able to tie many loose ends in the research conducted for my doctorate and to delve into the treasure troves of the Museum of Theatre and Music for illustrations for my book. Besides all that, when I was not working, the Likhachev executives immersed me in the city’s cultural life, organizing visits to historical sites and theatres, and hosting special dinners. And finally there was the immeasurable pleasure of finding myself in a community of fellow-travellers: I learnt from and was inspired by the

projects of people who came from all over the world; I was lifted by a sense of solidarity, when so often research and writing can be a lonely and obstacle-ridden

journey. I am therefore hugely grateful for an exhilarating, productive and intense experience, a rare adventure which I would repeat without hesitation.