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Ivan Nikolaevich KlustineLegat caricature, as Leandre?


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#1 rg

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:21 AM

identifying the roles the Legat brothers depicted in their caricatures of individual imperial dancers is often a guessing game.
looking at this one of Klustine, i wonder if shows him as the character "Léandre, Wealthy Suitor to Columbine" (as defined in the cast of Balanchine's 1965 version of Drigo's HARLEQUINADE, in which Shaun O'Brien, whom I was lucky enough to have see in the role in my NYCB-going years, was exemplary).
Ter-Arutunian's costume for Balanchine's Léandre, was quite similar - overall color scheme, related of stripes, patent-leather pumps, swallow-tail coat and bicorne, tho' in the case of NYCB's version, the hat was oversized, so much so that there was stage business for the portly nincompoop to turn himself sideways in order to enter Cassandre's house since his first attempt, frontwards, showed that the hat couldn't clear the door frame.
one has long suspected that Balanchine's version of Petipa's 1900 ARLEKINADA was closely modeled on the Maryinsky original, this small example of a near direct link in this costume instance would seem to support that notion.

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#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:33 AM

Yes, it certainly resembles the Ter-Arutunian design for Léandre. The Elderly Fop model is very clear, as also seen in Camacho in Don Quixote. I like especially the red heels on the shoes, which in several monarchic European societies denoted that the wearer had been received at court. Léandre obviously wants to let everyone know that he's High Society.

#3 rg

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:39 AM

ah, thanks again, Mel for the enlightenment.
i have often registered on red-heeled shoes of these eras but never understood the significance.

#4 rg

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:31 AM

a colleague has emailed to note that I.N.C., a Moscow-based dancer, quit the stage there in '02.
i know that Gorsky's version of Petipa's 1900 ARLEKINADA wasn't given until '07.
so, if I.N.C. didn't guest at the Maryinsky in such a role between 1900 & 1902, the Leandre connection is most unlikely.
perhaps more likely is the tradition for such a foppish character in various ballets of the time, and that Petipa's character and costume came from an earlier work with a role similar to this one.

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:11 AM

Yes, he certainly is a stock character, sort of based on Pantalon, and Rouben was very well-versed in historic costume, so even if this weren't Léandre, it surely represents the kind of foolish old fashion plate who fancies himself dangerous around the ladies!

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:02 PM

He sure is foolish, although I'd never have imagined was a fashion plate, as it took forever to figure out what was going on here: It kept reminding me of one of my nieces when she was a baby till I decided he must have on something. Definitely, the 'danger' is all in his mind! Oh my god this one is funny, and the red heels symbolism is funny. Face is funny too, looks like some actor whose name I can't recall who plays clergymen.

#7 leonid

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

a colleague has emailed to note that I.N.C., a Moscow-based dancer, quit the stage there in '02.
i know that Gorsky's version of Petipa's 1900 ARLEKINADA wasn't given until '07.
so, if I.N.C. didn't guest at the Maryinsky in such a role between 1900 & 1902, the Leandre connection is most unlikely.
perhaps more likely is the tradition for such a foppish character in various ballets of the time, and that Petipa's character and costume came from an earlier work with a role similar to this one.


Thank you for posting this caricature it is one of a number that I do not possess.

Not all of the Legat brothers ballet caricatures are a direct reflection of actual roles, and are mostly their personal comment on the physicality and personality of their subjects.

Clustine was reputedly a foppish and effeminate character in real life and a pupil of Gustav I. Legat, Nikolai and Sergei's father. So perhaps he was a real life inspiration for the character created by the Legats.

Ivan Nikolaevich Clustine(1862-1941), created a production of The Fairy Doll at the Bolshoi 1900, the second to be staged in that theatre and of course almost three years before the Legat brothers St.Petersburg production.

I do not recollect having read any mention of Clustine guesting with the St.Petersburg Imperial Ballet in Russian sources. Clustine left Moscow in 1903 moving to France where he was to become balletmaster/choreographer at the Paris Opera and later Anna Pavlova's ballet master and choreographer for almost 20 years.


(quote Mel Johnson)
"Yes, it certainly resembles the Ter-Arutunian design for Léandre. The Elderly Fop model is very clear, as also seen in Camacho in Don Quixote. I like especially the red heels on the shoes, which in several monarchic European societies denoted that the wearer had been received at court. Léandre obviously wants to let everyone know that he's High Society."

Louis IX I believe, most frequently wore red heeled shoes.


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