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Bejart commemorative stampJorge Donn and an UNidentified Suzanne Farrell


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#1 rg

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:51 PM

this stamp-collector's item caught my eye for the presence of Farrell.
i was rather stunned to note, once i acquired it. that Farrell's identity is nowhere to be found on the postcard.
it's a photo i'd not seen before.
the funny(?) thing about the caption is that the dancer most front and center is Farrell and all the captioning notes is the presence of Bejart and Donn.
oh well, those of us who know, know...
[the little strip of design at the bottom of the card's message side may be blocking out some writing of the original owner's; the paper strip is glued in place and removing or lifting it would likely damage the card.]

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#2 carbro

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:01 PM

Farrell was in Brussels for what? Five years? Is it possible that among non-ballet obsessed people (yes, there are some), she is not so well remembered?

#3 rg

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:08 PM

of course it's possible people wouldn't remember, etc. but the individuals who put together the card, and who had to get the photo credits, etc. might have asked who the ballerina was in the grouping of the picture chosen for the purpose of this stamp collector's item.

#4 SandyMcKean

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 05:12 PM

Quite amazing rg! Thanks for sharing your find.

The lack of Farrell's name when clearly, as you suggest, any dodo who might have gathered the materials needed to produce such a card could hardly have not asked "Who's the girl??!!", likely makes the card even more valuable. I have no interest in collecting such things, but that card, with that story, makes it desirable even to such as me! :wink:

#5 Farrell Fan

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:29 PM

Lovely photo of Farrell, rg, thanks. The baby face has been superseded by the mature beauty still discernable today.

#6 perky

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 06:14 AM

I would also be nice to know what ballet they are rehearsing. Maybe Bejart's Romeo and Juliet?

#7 sandik

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:47 AM

Does anyone know what the usual rules are about putting people on stamps in Belgium (in the US, the subject has to have been dead for at least 10 years (unless you're a former president) before you can appear on a stamp.

#8 SandyMcKean

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:19 AM

sandik's comment raises the question in my mind: Who is the person on the actual stamp? I assumed it to be Bejart.....but now I wonder.

#9 bart

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:34 AM

sandik's comment raises the question in my mind: Who is the person on the actual stamp? I assumed it to be Bejart.....but now I wonder.

I certainly looks like Donn. The hand-stamp says "Maurice Bejart 1927-2007." But I doubt that Bejart ever had lats -- or hair, for that matter -- like that. :wink:

Here's a photo I Googled of Donn and Bejart side by side.
http://images.google...t...&tbs=isch:1

#10 Alymer

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:46 AM

Well, it's certainly Bejart supporting Farrell, with Donn watching, hands on hips. And Farrell danced a great number of pieces from the Bejart rep as well as taking the leading female role in his Nijinsky and Golestan ballets.

#11 Lidewij

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:26 AM

I don't think there are any specific rules about the people they put on stamps here. There are a number "limited edition" series of stamps every year to celebrate certain events, .. So I'd think this would be an example of that.

But I would like to note I know next to nothing about stamps, so I'm absolutely not sure. :wink:

#12 SandyMcKean

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:19 PM

Well, it's certainly Bejart supporting Farrell, with Donn watching, hands on hips.

Look more closely at rg's original post. I'm not talking about the postcard picture with Farrell on it, but more related to sandik's question, I am talking about the photo on the stamp itself.

bart, I thought it looked like Donn too. but then I thought it strange that a stamp commemorating Bejart wouldn't have his picture on it. I thought maybe it was a photo from his dancing youth.

#13 bart

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

bart, I thought it looked like Donn too. but then I thought it strange that a stamp commemorating Bejart wouldn't have his picture on it. I thought maybe it was a photo from his dancing youth.

A quick Google turned up this performance photo (possibly from Bejart's time at Ballet Suedois?).

http://www.olats.org.../img/mbcysp.jpg

The Times (UK) obituary reports the following, which does not sound like he was a Donn type in his youth:

He also began ballet classes at the Marseilles Opera, making his inauspicious debut as (by his own account) a weedy-looking grub crawling out of an apple in Le Festin de l'araignée.



#14 Farrell Fan

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 04:44 PM

My stamp-collecting days ended long ago, but it seems to me that the only "official" indication that this object is a philatelic homage to Bejart is the postmark. The stamp itself may have been intended (perhaps years earlier) as a generic tribute to "the spirit of dance" or some such, and we all know that though "ballet is woman," for Bejart, dance was man. What makes the thing worth having is the photograph, which is beautiful. Thanks again, rg.

#15 SandyMcKean

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:33 PM

the photograph.......which is beautiful

Agreed!

I never saw her dance, but I've seen videos of course. My "fan-ship" became official after reading her autobiography "Holding on to the Air". She particularly beguiled me in the "Elusive" documentary. Her honesty and authenticity totally won me over. I have since gone to the PNB library to watch her in the Balanchine Trust Interpreters videos (Monumentum and Movements). That was the best of all.


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