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THE MAGIC SWANsetting the 'black swan' in SWAN LAKE tradition?


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#1 rg

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:34 AM

the attached photo evidently documents the first performances? of THE MAGIC SWAN led by T. Toumanova and I. Youskevitch of Alexandra Fedorova-Fokine's 1941 staging of the ballroom scene from SWAN LAKE for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo [see below], while not in color, one assumes this Dunkel designed and Karinska built? tutu for Toumanova is black, which thereafter probably set the color of Odile's costume as black as opposed to Odette's "white swan" white.
Toumanova and Youskevitch were Fedorova-Fokine's first cast for the BRdMC staging.
[the print i have seems mistaken in the handwriting on the back which says '1938' since the ballet didn't have its premiere until '41 - it would seem a stretch to think that 3 years before the premiere the co. was having its artists pose for a publicity photo.

Swan lake - Chor: Alexandra Fedorova-Fokine after Marius Petipa; mus: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky; scen & cos: Eugene Dunkel; under title The magic swan. First U.S. perf: New York, Metropolitan Opera House, Oct 13, 1941, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo

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#2 whetherwax

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 01:35 PM

I realise this is not the right place to post this and is off the point. But you may be interested RQ in a short home movie of Tamara Touvanova dancing on the beach in Australia which i found in Australian Screen( a film archive).
Murray - Will, Ewan:Ballet Russes in Australia: Home movie Aside from her beauty and the scene it has an extra pleasure for me as our family home was built on the headland 10 years later. Everyone will enjoy her dancing.

#3 bart

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:44 PM

Thank you rg, for the photo, and whetherwax for the link to the film clips.

Both are extraordinary. However, to avoid confusion as to topic, I've started a new link for the Australian film clips -- along with a Link.

The other thread -- which will give you access to several amazing clips of Toumanova, Petrov, and others dancing in slow motion -- is HERE

#4 Dale

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 03:18 PM

Beautiful photograph. One of the best in showing why Toumanova was called The Black Pearl of Russian ballet.

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:35 PM

A thought about the original photograph upon which this thread is built. Most black-and-white film today is panchromatic, that is, provides a fairly accurate record of the index of reflectivity of any given color. Many former films were orthochromatic, and did not read the colors the same as the eye does. The original Eastman Panchromatic film would read red as black, and the Ansco equivalent couldn't "see" yellow. I wonder if that would enter into the question of whether the "Magic Swan" were in black or not. If performed in Australia, black would be a natural, though, as black swans are indigenous there.


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