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:
Music by: Cesare Pugni
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.