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John-Michael

Photographs

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Hi! Can anyone tell me if there are any webpages that have photo collections of Russian ballet productions from the pre-Soviet era. Thanks!

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The Imperial Theaters didn't put in photography until the 1890s, so those photos are few and far between, and mostly of individual dancers rather than full-stage views. For some of these, try:

http://www.corbis.com/

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I can't help, John-Michael, but I wanted to say welcome back -- we've missed you!

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Thanks for the replies! I haven't posted or even logged in for a long time so it's fun to be back.

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i'm afraid, j-m, that like alexandra i have no substantive information to provide. mel's tip seems a good one but having just surfed over to corbis and back now i note how rare full-stage pictures there are and how somewhat thin and/or inaccurate the captioning tends to be, but still it's a start.

like alexandra let me say it's good to see you back on this lane of the information highway. i have a feeling if ever there is a reliable and extensive site of imperial russian ballet pictures it might appear due to prodding and interest as keen as yours.

here's hoping, and o'course reiterating: welcome back.

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The New York City Preforming Arts Library, Dance department has many of its

old photographs available via the internet,you can browse the catologue via

NYCPL INTERNET SITE and see a digital photo o you computer.

I do not know the address of the top of my head but you could find it via a

search engine.

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John-Michael, if paper records are any good to you, you will find a full-stage photograph of an 1899 Bolshoi Beauty (Act II by the looks of it, with the nymph corps divided up into three differently costumed sections--a la the enchanted garden scene the Kirov DQ--and a good deal of garlandage) in F Reyna's Concise History of Ballet. And, in N Roslavleva's Era of the Russian Ballet, there's a dubious stage picture (it could have been shot in a studio) of the 1896 St Petersburg La Halte de cavalerie (I saw a production of this ballet on the BBC in the late 70s), as well as a full stage picture of the Moscow production of Gorsky's Salammbo in 1910.

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I was browsing the NYPL.ORG performing arts library and found a reference,

for the collector Gennally Smakov who gave a collection of photographs used in

his book "The great Russian dancers" and most of the items date 1818-1917

so i am sure that their are photos of Russian Imperial Ballet Dancers.

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*MGZEB 92-17894

Author Smakov, Gennady, collector.

Title Photographs of Russian dancers.

Imprint 1818-1984.

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LOCATION CALL # STATUS

*MGZEB 92-17894

Descript 1 album (120 photoprints) : b&w. ; 31 x 31 cm.

Note Photographs collected for use as illustrations in Smakov's book, The great Russian dancers, published by Knopf, 1984, and for his unpublished biography of Marius Petipa.

Most of the items date from 1818 to 1917, with nine later than 1917, including two of Mikhail Baryshnikov as a child, ca. 1956, and one of him in Petrouchka, 1984.

Subject Petipa, Marius, 1818-1910

Aistov, Nikolai Sergeevich.

Astaf'eva, Serafima Aleksandrovna.

Baldina, Alexandra Vasil'evna, 1885-1977.

Baryshnikov, Mikhail, 1948-

Bogdanova, Aleksandra Aleksandrovna, 1861-

Bulgakov, Aleksei Dmitrievich, 1872-1954.

Chislova, Ekaterina Gavrilovna, 1845-1889.

Chumakova, Antonina Savel'evna, 1890-

Fabr, Aleksandra Aleksandrovna, b. 1847.

Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942.

Gerdt, Elizaveta Pavlovna, 1891-1975.

Gerdt, Pavel Andreevich, 1844-1917.

Gordova, Apollinaria Alekseevna.

Ivanov, Lev, 1834-1901.

Ivanova, Vera Nikolaevna.

Kulichevskaia, Klavdiia Mikhailovna, 1861-1923.

Kshessinska, Mathilde, 1872-1971.

Legat, Sergei Gustavovich, 1875-1905.

Legnani, Pierina, 1863-1923.

Leonova, Ol'ga Nikolaevna.

Luk'ianov, Sergei Ivanovich, 1859-1911.

Murav'ėva, Marfa Nikolaevna, 1838-1879.

Muromskaia, Lidiia Vissarionovna.

Nikitina, Varvara Aleksandrovna.

Obukhova, Evgeniia Konstantinovna.

Orlov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, 1889-

Pavlova, Anna, 1881-1931.

Petipa, Marie Mariusovna.

Preobrajenska, Olga, 1870-1962.

Romanoff, Boris, 1891-1957.

Roslavleva, Liubov' Andreevna, 1874-1904.

Rubtsova, Lidiia Aleksandrovna, 1871-

Sedova, IUliia Nikolaevna, 1880-1969.

Trefilova, Vera, 1875-1943.

TSalison, Polina Viktorovna.

Urakova, Anna Petrovna.

Vazem, Ekaterina Ottovna, 1848-1937.

Vilzak, Anatole, 1898-

Vladimiroff, Pierre, 1893-1970.

-

Kevin

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i recently looked at this collection of smakov's.

it's in some measure photos used to illustrate his book, as well as some that didn't make it into the volume.

unfortunately not all the photos from his book are in this album. i assume some of the illustrations in the final knopf publication were gained from supplementary sources.

alas, while the pictures themselves are never less than fascinating, as almost all are historic and often rare 'originals,' there are, to best of my recollection, no full-stage pictures in the album. most are portraits or full figure, studio-posed shots of the dancers in question.

still it's worth a perusal for anyone who gets to the dance coll. w/ time to spare & with an interest in 19th c. russian ballet.

as for full-stage shots, just recently in a maryinsky prog. published not long ago in st. petersburg, i saw for the first time a full-stage picture of the final grouping from the procession and grand pas from the betrothal scene of BAYADERKA, i'd seen a few other pictures of this vintage before, but never this one. (it showed whence cometh one of the groupings arranged for the vikharev 1900 reconstruction of this ballet shown in nyc in 2002.) so i suppose there are still some eye-filling and eye-opening pictures in the russian archives, but they're probably still a rarity due to the photo techniques of the time.

i have two post cards showing large groupings. one is posed, probably of the casually assembled cast of 'magic flute' undated, alas, and un-captioned. another is a petrograd grouping from the walpurgisnacht scene of 'faust,' showing some women with loose hair variously 'draped' around a rocky landscape w/ mephistopheles standing and looking vaguely sinister off to the side. but essentially it would seem most of the imperial ballet photography was limited to solo shots of posed dancers in studio settings.

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The Danes were far ahead of the Russians when it comes to a C19/early C20 photographic record of the Bournonville rep. While it's true that some of the backdrops are generic studio landscapes, a good few were taken on stage, and, more importantly, reproduced choreographic moments characteristic of the ballets in question. Cf, for example, the improbable military lineup of Brianza et al in that St Petersburg SB publicity shot. (Her tutu is so dark that I think she must be wearing her FAST red Rose Adagio number, the one that was offset by a phalanx of "mourning dresses"! Wouldn't cut it in a modern prod!)

I spent a very pleasant hour or so browsing Ju:rgensen's anthology of Danish photos on Friday. John-Michael, if you're reading this, and you haven't seen the book in question, it's strongly recommended. Though I am sure you must have consulted it. By the way, I caught up with your out-of-sight music postings on Saturday night, and was delighted to find a fellow lover of music that embodies le/la jolie (can never remember which gender article Tchaikovsky chose)--the principle of sheer prettiness. T's statement about Sylvia and Die Ring is often held against him, but I think it showed enormous courage and integrity. Most of us are terrified of being thought vulgar. I think should follow Marilyn Monroe in The Prince and the Showgirl: "Well, all I can say is, give me vulgarity"!

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I have a Sleeping Beauty program that I got at the Mariinsky last October (2002). It has about 6 or 7 full-stage photos that purport to be from the 1890 production of Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theater.

I feel sure that photos like this must be easy to find, but if you have not seen them and would like to, there is surely some way I can transmit them to you.

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