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Fonteyn and Helpmann

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the scanned, undated photocard of Fonteyn and Helpmann simply says: Pas de Deux

i suppose the potential postcard buyers of the time would know just what duet was captured in the photo - the credit for which simply reads: "Photo Mandinian, Copyright Sadler's Wells Ballet"

what comes first to mind is THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (or PRINCESS) even though the pose doesn't quite match with what one has come to expect from the pas de deux and/or the fish-dive moments in the ballet, though this could document a early 'text' of the dance which was eventually reshaped.

i wonder if anyone has any information to help further identify this photo.

post-848-063532200 1280337829_thumb.jpg

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the scanned, undated photocard of Fonteyn and Helpmann simply says: Pas de Deux

i suppose the potential postcard buyers of the time would know just what duet was captured in the photo - the credit for which simply reads: "Photo Mandinian, Copyright Sadler's Wells Ballet"

what comes first to mind is THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (or PRINCESS) even though the pose doesn't quite match with what one has come to expect from the pas de deux and/or the fish-dive moments in the ballet, though this could document a early 'text' of the dance which was eventually reshaped.

i wonder if anyone has any information to help further identify this photo.

I think you may be correct. There are photographs captioned Sleeping Beauty, dating from 1950, showing Helpmann in what seems to be a similar jacket. Fonteyn however, is wearing a head dress and there seems to be more decoration on her tutu than in your picture - though it's hard to tell.

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It does seem possible this kind of photo would be specially 'posed'--so they just assume a more or less concluding 'fish dive' position to invoke the ballet. However, that's a speculation on my part...

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an email from David Vaughan says:

<<The so-called “Aurora” pas de deux was in the repertory of the Vic-Wells Ballet during the 30s, before they staged the whole ballet in 1939, so this is probably from that. Pearl Argyle also danced it with Helpmann.>>

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