Maria Ignatieva Stanislavsky and Female Actors: Women in Stanislavsky's Life and Art University Press of America, 140 pages, 2008-10-28 ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0761841032 ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780761841036
Most often studies of major artists and the women in their lives consist of a string of love affairs that punctuate or accompany a professional career that remains separate from these female entanglements. It is noteworthy that Maria Ignatieva is concerned with the professional, not romantic aspect of Stanislavsky’s relations with women. The focus is on both Stanislavsky and the women, who in every case are regarded primarily as artists. His role in their careers is evenly balanced by their role in his career. Stanislavsky’s affairs with the women of the Moscow Art Theatre were not sexual, but creative. This is not to deny that there was a strong erotic element—after all, these were immensely attractive, vital, passionate people— but the sensual was sublimated to the aesthetic. As an actor and teacher, Stanislavsky used the minds, hearts, and bodies of his female pupils and partners to satisfy artistic desires, both his and theirs. Consummation took place not in bed, but on stage.