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Toumanova's Odile

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my guess is that this studio photo of Tamara Toumanova was taken to publicize the ballet russe de monte carlo's premiere presentation of THE MAGIC SWAN by Fedorova-Fokine. as noted earlier this presentation would seem to have set the character of Odile on its now-traditional track as 'the black swan.'

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My very first 'Black Swan PDD' was with BT in the fall of 1945. I never saw 'The Magic Swan' which was a few years before my time (my time being April 1944). There was heightened expectation in the theatre that night because Toumanova was dancing . The next time I would feel this expectation would be a few years later when 'Sadler's Wells' came for the first time. It was an exhiliarating night and who but Toumanova could put over those 32 fouettes; the first time I saw them performed. Indeed, she wore a black tutu. I don't recall where I read it but I understand it was the first time this PDD was performed as "The Black Swan'; quite apart f rom "The Magic Swan' which, supposedly was the third act of Swan Lake.

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a note in the 1945/46 BALLET RUSSE DE MONTE CARLO souvenir program for the season's individual repertory items includes an entry for THE MAGIC SWAN of '41; this states that the Tchaikovsky/Petipa pas de deux from the one-act ballet "is being presented in the current repertoire under the title PAS DE DEUX CLASSIQUE, but during this time, as noted above, Toumanova was appearing with Ballet Theatre, where the duet BALLET RUSSE called PAS DE DEUX CLASSIQUE was being billed as the BLACK SWAN PAS DE DEUX, in a staging by Anton Dolin 'after Petipa.'

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During that 45/46 BR season I did see 'Pas de Deux Classique' performed by Danilova and Franklin. She did not wear a black tutu; relying on memory it was pale blue and white (which at the time seemed anemic to me after seeing it performed in a dramatic black tutu). She did not do the 32 fouettes; as much as I loved Danilova it would have been a stretch for her this late in her career. At the time, Toumanova had no peer in this role---it was hers.

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Wow, aesthetically she looks very much like dancers today, leaner and more muscular. She looks like she would be right at home dancing the second pas de trois girl in Agon.

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re: the color(s) of the tutu - it's interesting to learn of this color change when the odile/siegfried pdd was taken out of THE MAGIC SWAN. one might think the excerpt would retain the black color scheme, esp. as the BR souvenir prog. note links the PAS DE DEUX CLASSIQUE to THE MAGIC SWAN.

i guess TT took her tutu w/ her when she left BR for BT.

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