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Youskevitch, againthis time in SERENADE w/ L. Roudenko


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#1 rg

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:26 AM

this is a scan of a ballet russe de monte carlo publicity photo for SERENADE w/ Youskevitch and Lubov Roudenko (about whom i know next to nothing).
interesting the photo session involved Roudenko's posing in toeshoes w/o ribbons and Youskevitch's posing in 'stocking feet' sans slippers. (another unidentified publicity photo of IY and TToumanova, previously posted on BT, also shows him w/o slippers.)
what i can't say for certain is if IY's combed his hair in a stiff pompadour or if he's wearing a beret-like hat?
probably the former, i guess.

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#2 Paul Parish

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 12:32 PM

looks like a hat to me....

It IS arresting to think that Serenade was ever danced in such costumes. She looks such a teen-ager.

#3 carbro

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:23 PM

I believe a ribbon is visible around her standing ankle, but hard to see one around her extended one. Maybe the lighting helped camouflage the ribbons? Or maybe a retouching was less than complete?

#4 vrsfanatic

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:34 PM

IY looks to have leather ballet slippers on to me. Look at the tips and inside edges of his big toes. Having dyed both canvas and leather, his feet look like dyed leather to me. As for his hair, looks like a pomdapour. The costumes are amazing. I remember somewhere seeing the photos of the "1st" Serenade in White Plains, NY in ample very long net (black and white photo, I always assumed blue). Is my history incorrect? What is the date on this photo?

#5 rg

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:34 PM

i should have realized a low-res. scan wouldn't provide true detail.
the detail scan here shows, as the photo looks to the naked eye, that there are no ribbons on LR's toeshoes and that IY isn't wearing slippers.
there is no date on this ballet russe de monte carlo photo; BRdMC staged SERENADE for the first time in 1940. (this costume scheme looks like that credited to Lurcat, and yes, the one original sketch i've seen - nowadays in the collection of the School of American Ballet - is in a range of blues.)
i assume this photo's date is early/mid-40s.

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#6 Amy Reusch

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:42 PM

It really looks to me as if Youskevitch is wearing tights over his slippers... could be a conceit for the photographer? And it does look as if there's elastic under the tights of Roudenko's supporting ankle. Is that a small hole in her tights near the ankle on the other foot? Or is it a speck on the photo? Very odd... looks like it's airbrushed, but then the shoe on the supporting foot is loose around her arch. Maybe Youskevitch is just in tights, they look much thicker than what we get nowadays.

#7 rg

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:59 PM

it's easier to tell in the photo - IY is not wearing slippers under his tights; the tights do appear thicker than today's.
i think there is some retouching around the ankles of LR but she's not wearing ribbons on her shoes, which was something done w/ some regularity around this period in a number of posed, publicity photos.

#8 carbro

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:19 PM

I think the nail of IY's right big toe is barely (no pun intended) discernible, but I see enough subtle suggestions of criss-crossings around Roudenko's ankles (Roud-ankles?) to believe that the retouchers did a little work on them.

Amy, in the '50s, my mom had tights that covered toes and heels but were open on the soles. They were seamed, so it was just an opening along the way. She and my dad were taking classes in social dancing then (I wouldn't go so far as to call it ballroom), and she said the opening gave her better traction on the floor. Since dancers of the period of this photo wore silk tights, they were probably extremely slick inside pointe shoes (or any shoes), so an open sole may have been standard to keep the foot secure within the shoe. :lol:

#9 Paul Parish

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:14 PM

Amazing hte scrutiny this photo warrants.

Well, to MY eye, her ankles don't look retouched. The highlights are where the bones would cause them -- in particular, on her left foot, there's a big highlight where the lateral (oops, no, the internal) malleolus -- i.e., the knob at the end of the tibia -- would cause one. So that doesn't look like airbrushing.

ANd hte little horizontal lines would be natural wrinkling that silk tights would cause -- silk doesn't stretch like nylon, it doesn't recover its shape so well, and over hte ankle it would get over-stretched (as it famously did at the knees).

And on top of that, if there WERE ribbons there, the shoe wouldn't be so loose down by hte arch -- and on both feet the shoes look loose there, more-so on the left (which actually gaps a little) but even on hte right it's not tight there. RIbbons are sewn right at those points to pull the shoe towards the instep.

THe poor ballerina has short calves, big heels, and thick ankles, a lot like mine.

Edited by Paul Parish, 25 June 2008 - 09:44 AM.


#10 vrsfanatic

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 02:13 AM

Amazing technology! Wow. IY has such lovely legs! Thank you for the treasure. It would be interesting to know the history of these costumes for the BRdM. Thank you again. :lol:

#11 rg

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:02 AM

one mo' time: despite any oddities of the photo and/or its retouching, there are no ribbons on LR and no slippers on IY. my question concerned the possible tam/hat on IY. i think, now, it's his hair that makes the shape one sees here.
there was a set of costumes, if mem. serves, maybe for Paris Opera's SERENADE, where the men where given little hats to wear, but i don't think this odd idea was carried out elsewhere.
i'm satisfied to note that IY is bareheaded, w/ his thick hair combed into a pompadour.

#12 Amy Reusch

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 08:01 PM

Have we reached the silly season yet?

#13 rg

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:49 AM

my query about the costume detailing was meant seriously.
the side-track on the details of the dancers' footwear (or lack there of) began b/c the scan was unclear.
i assume all the subsequent observations were made seriously too.

#14 bart

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:25 AM

One more thing about the hair, before we move on to the matter of the costumes for Serenade.

IY definitely had a full head of hair, most strikingly at the hair line above the brow. Many, many men might envy him. You see it standing up from the brow in the Black Swan pdd with Alonso that we've been discussing on another thread. The look there is amazingly early-2000s. You see it brushed down here: http://images.google...t...GLR:en&sa=N

I know I've also seen a photo recently in which the front hair was brushed off to the side and at an angle in a manner that suggests the photo above. But I don't seem to be able to remember where in all the vastness of Google-world I found it.

#15 Amy Reusch

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:17 AM

Of course, rg... it just seemed as if we were veering off to the outskirts, with us all seeing non-existant ribbons & elastics... (I'm still having trouble not seeing an elastic attached at the heel on the supporting leg, and do realize how inane that is)


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