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Costume Sketches from 1892 NUTCRACKER2 scans of reproductions


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#1 rg

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 05:52 AM

fyi: here is the first of two scans of reproductions of some of the costume designs from the 1892 Nutcracker. Both show Vsevolozhsky's costume sketches
1] a reproduction of the costume for a member of the snowflake ensemble for the second scene of Act 1.
2] a group of sketches all done on the same piece of paper, Wiley notes the following dancers who originated the roles depicted on the page: top row of smaller scale drawings, left-to-right - a soldier, originally S. Litavkin; Columbine, O. Preobrajenska; Harlequin, G. Kyaksht; (second row, smaller scale) a sutler (or vivandiere), A.Anderson; the toy Nutcracker; and finally, more large-scale on the right, Herr Droselmayer, T. Stukolkin.

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#2 rg

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 05:53 AM

and here a the second scan, described above.

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#3 Hans

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 09:06 AM

Those are lovely rg--thank you!

#4 Paul Parish

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 12:55 PM

Do you think Vsevoloshki drew these himself? He has a nice hand -- harlequin and the Vivandiere are particularly appealing...

He did of course have a wonderful imagination....

#5 rg

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 06:29 PM

regarding whose hand is in involved in the scanned sketch pix, the one of the solo 'snowflake' would seem to be a later reworking for purposes of the creating the card on which the image is shown of ivan vsevoloszhsky's original sketch - which, according to the reproduction in dobrovolskaya's SCHYELKUNCHIK, is part of a fuller page that includes 'Le Roi des Souris et des soldats [souris]'.
vsevolozhsky's hand is rather well know from the sketches reproduced in the russian language SPYASHAYA KARSAVITSA by konstantinova, and part of a 'art' studies series that also includes LEBEDINOE OZERO by davidov.
(vsevolozhsky's 'snowflake' is more delicately rendered than the 'reworked' one shown here but it's posed in exactly the same way.

#6 Amy Reusch

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 10:43 PM

"a sutler (or vivandiere)" ??? Was this some sort of side role during the battle?

#7 Paul Parish

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:23 AM

great question, Amy....

It reminds me, in SFB's old production, Jose Varona did the mice up in a way that suggested napoleon's attack on Moscow, and there were a fair number of female "camp followers' among the mice, who grieved mightily when hte Mouse king was killed.... They might have been Vivandieres.... in fact, I think one of them had a bota bag and gave a drink to a mouse who was making a pit stop.....

I don't KNOW if there's an old tradition of having serving wenches, but this WAS from Willam Christensen's section of the production, which dated back to 1939, and Christensen based his setting on a conversatoin he had with Danilova and Balanchine in a SF hotel, about what the Nutcracker they'd danced in in St Petersburg had been like. Danilova took off her shoes and was about to show some of the steps when Balanchine intervened and said "no let him make up his own steps" -- but the tale that Christensen told about that evening made it sound like they went in to lots of detail in describing the the old Petersburg version they'd grown up in. So maybe there were vivandieres at the edges of the old battle scene; they were certainly still there two years ago.... might be still in Tomasson's new version: I haven't noticed them, but hte new scenery takes up so much more of the stage, the picture is quite crowded and there could be some.

#8 rg

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 05:26 AM

the royal ballet's peter wright prod. follows the intended scheme for 'magical' toys, and includes in order? the columbine and harlequin 'dancing dolls', who pop out from a cabbage and meat pie (respectively?) and then the sutler and soldier (each of whom come out from matching tobacco cases, as i believe the libretto specified) - i don't have my wiley to hand at the moment. so this vsevolozhsky page concentrates on the characters from drosselmeier's initial appearance in act 1, sc. 1.

#9 chrisk217

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 07:06 AM

"a sutler (or vivandiere)"  ??? Was this some sort of side role during the battle?

The role of the vivandieres (explained by Mel Johnson): http://ballettalk.in...topic=16494&hl=

Happy 2006!!!! :wacko:

#10 bart

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 01:43 PM

Here's Mel's definition:

"A vivandiere is a lady who runs the army canteen. She is VERY respectable, and nobody lays a hand on her, except with honorable intentions."

My memory of vivandieres in French art/ literature/film/etc. is that they are often portrayed as beefy, earthy, no-nonsense women, equally devoted to making money and bullying (in a good natured way) their "boys". In other words, a character role rather than a ballerina or soubrette role.

A bit off topic -- Here's a description of the original La Vivandiere as currently performed by the Trocks:

La Vivandiere

Music by: Cesare Pugni
Choreography by:
Arthur Saint Leon
Costumes by: Mike Gonzales
Decor by: Kip Marsh
Lighting by: Tricia Toliver

This excerpt from La Vivandiere, a ballet in one act with a libretto and choreography by Arthur Saint Leon, was first presented in May, 1844, at Her Majesty’s Theater in London, and starred the celebrated Italian ballerina, Fanny Cerrito.

The ballet is set in a little village in Hungary, where Kathi, a camp follower, loves Hans, the son of a tavern keeper. This ballet became famous as it introduced the "Redowa,” the original Polka of Bohemia, to 19th century London.

#11 tedkat

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:11 AM

Hi RG.

Do you have any more of Vsevolozhsky's images from the Nutcracker. I plan on embroidering a Nutcracker stocking for myself & these illustrations are perfect. I have searched far & wide but I haven't been able to locate more of the orignal sketches.

#12 rg

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:51 AM

john warrack's Tchaikovsky has a color sketch of hoop dancer; Dobrovolskaya's monograph in russian on NUTCRACKER (SHCHELKUNCHIK) has a few others in color, most of the illustrations in her book from the 1892 production are in black and white.

here though are a few more color items:
1. the hoop (trepak) dancer from Warrack
2. & 3. from Dobrovolskaya = couple from Waltz of the Flowers & Merlitons dancer.

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#13 bart

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:03 PM

All of these are marvellous -- and really should be gathered into a children's book retelling of the story (for adults).

I'm glad the Mirliton hat has been squashed down in recent productions; it must have been difficult moving quickly with the Leaning Tower of Pisa on one's head.

I like the Hoop Dance -- wierd and scarey. How did this mysterious character turn into a Candy Cane in Balanchine's version?

Also, from the original post: how did Columbine do her choreography with that strange thigh-hobbling skirt?

#14 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:11 PM

There's a black-and-white photograph of Shirayev (and his hoop) out there somewhere. Looks like the sepia migrated a little on the Warrack drawing. The ears are furthermore rather restrained in the finished costume.

#15 rg

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:46 PM

there is a grainy, b&w illus. in dobrovolskaya of shiryaev w/ his hoop and yes, gone are the donkey's(?) ears.
also one of preobrajenska as columbine, and, once built, her skirt was made much shorter than the sketch indicated thus freeing up her legs (and legwork) - tho' it's important to recall that she was a columbine doll/automaton, so one presumes her movements were somewhat constrained to that end.


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