Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia, by by Janice Ross,
This book traces the trajectory of Leonid Yakobson’s position in Soviet ballet history and locates him as an important modernist innovator who waged a lifelong surreptitious battle against Soviet repression and bureaucracy. - New York Times
The book tells us over and over how groundbreaking Yakobson’s choreography was. Ms. Ross has written an earnest labour-of-love account of a man who no doubt deserved far more recognition for his courage, innovation and indomitable spirit than he received. - New York Times.
For Yakobson, ballet was a form of political discourse, and he was particularly alive to the suppressed identity of Soviet Jews and officially sanctioned anti-Semitism. He used dance to celebrate reinvention and self-authorship—the freedom of the individual voice as subject and medium. His ballets challenged the role of the dancing body during some of the most repressive decades of totalitarian rule.
This illuminating and beautifully written study brings to life a hidden history of artistic resistance in the Soviet Union through the story of a brave artist who struggled his entire life against political repression yet continued to offer a vista of hope.