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Nadia Nerina, ABT's first Odette/Odile for Blair's SWAN LAKE1967 publicity photo


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#1 rg

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:22 AM

the attached photo is likely one sent to Chicago's newspapers on the occasion of ABT's first performances of SWAN LAKE (in 4 acts) which took place in Feb. '67 in Chicago, and which was led at the time by Nerina as Odette/Odile and Royes Fernandez as Siegfried.
It would seem there was not yet a photo of Nerina in Wittop's Odette costume, as this one is evidently Leslie Hurry's designs from the Royal Ballet at the time.

Swan lake - Chor: David Blair after Lev Ivanov & Marius Petipa (from the version by N. Sergeev); mus: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky; lib: Vladimir Begichev and Vasilii Gel'tzer.
First perf. of the full-length work by American Ballet Theatre: Chicago, Opera House, Feb 16, 1967; with chor. by Blair for Peasant dance & Goblet dance, Act I, and Neapolitan dance & Storm scene, Act IV; scen: Oliver Smith; cos: Freddy Wittop; lighting: Jean Rosenthal.

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#2 Hamorah

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 02:12 AM

Nadia Nerina was one of the Royal Ballet's strongest ballerinas of the period and was superb as the Black Swan in particular, whipping off the fouettes and beguiling the Prince. Actually, I always remember her Rose Adagio in Beauty - her balances outdid all those performed by the other ballerinas of the time. She had great personality too and was delightful in La Fille Mal Gardee with David Blair, who was her usual partner.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:22 AM

So BT didn't advance to the full four acts staging as forward as 1967...? Is that correct...?

#4 rg

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

yes, that's correct, prior to 1967 ABT did only SWAN LAKE Act 2, Black Swan Pas de Deux, and the Pas de Trois (from Act 1) as separate, individual repertory items.

#5 bart

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

It's interesting to compare with this photo of Fonteyn, a slightly older Royal Ballet ballerina who, like Nerina, was born with a name much more ordinary than her stage name.. Many facial similarities. Ditto the crown of their tiaras.

http://i.dailymail.c...597_233x359.jpg

#6 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:46 PM

yes, that's correct, prior to 1967 ABT did only SWAN LAKE Act 2, Black Swan Pas de Deux, and the Pas de Trois (from Act 1) as separate, individual repertory items.


Oh, how interesting...and I always thought that the Cuban full four acts Swan Lake staged by M. Skeaping had also had its share of import from what Alonso had been dancing at the moment at BT. So I guess the whole 1953 Havana Acts I and IV by Skeaping were a totally new territory for Alicia...? Maybe she took something for BRdMC...? How much choreographed was the Ballet Russes version...?

#7 jsmu

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:30 AM

Nadia Nerina was one of the Royal Ballet's strongest ballerinas of the period and was superb as the Black Swan in particular, whipping off the fouettes and beguiling the Prince. Actually, I always remember her Rose Adagio in Beauty - her balances outdid all those performed by the other ballerinas of the time. She had great personality too and was delightful in La Fille Mal Gardee with David Blair, who was her usual partner.


Although the privilege of seeing Nerina was before my time, she has always been famous not only for balances but most particularly for her astounding jumping. Her Ashton variation in Birthday Offering (each of the seven was precisely tailored to the strengths of its original ballerina) is still one of the hardest single things in the Royal canon, as dancers of the caliber of Deborah Bull have ruefully attested. There is also a DELICIOUS story about her--at a certain point-- having had more than enough of Nureyev's bad behavior, and doing (instead of the thirty-two fouettes, which she indeed whipped off with the greatest of ease) thirty-two entrechats six one night as a little nonverbal communique to Rude Rudi. Needless to say, most ballerinas even today could not possibly manage thirty-two entrechats six after three acts of Swan Lake; Nerina was not only a charmer but a powerhouse virtuosa.

#8 Hamorah

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:56 AM

Wow! What a fantastic story! Yes, of course you're right - she was also a wonderful jumper! But 32 entrechat six!!!!!!!! I don't suppose there are many men who can do that! Oh and apropos Rudi and his temper and rudeness! I remember a group of us RBS students were taken to see a stage rehearsal with him and Fonteyn at the Opera House, but he got mad about something, tore off his ballet shoes, threw them across the stage and stalked off!

#9 rg

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:53 AM

another news photo of Nerina, this time as Odile, trimmed by the newspaper for printing as an oval shaped picture..
the back is stamped with the date OCT 24, 1964, when the photo was used for publicity for a Chicago tour by the Royal Ballet.

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#10 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:44 PM

Thanks a lot for those lovely portraits of Nadia Nerina. It is strange to see that stage make up can totally transform some people. I have been in class with an unmadeup Nerina and the transformation is absolutely 100%. Some people always look like themselves in stage makeup, others look completely different. She was a wonderful dancer and I remember her with great gratitude for the pleasure and joy she gave me.

#11 bingham

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

Thanks a lot for those lovely portraits of Nadia Nerina. It is strange to see that stage make up can totally transform some people. I have been in class with an unmadeup Nerina and the transformation is absolutely 100%. Some people always look like themselves in stage makeup, others look completely different. She was a wonderful dancer and I remember her with great gratitude for the pleasure and joy she gave me.

Is there a recording of her La Fille.. or any other performances?

#12 rg

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:30 AM

re: video records of Nerina's Lise in FILLE MAL GARDEE, to the best of my knowledge, the Margaret Dale film of mostly? the first cast, certainly with Nerina and Blair has not been released commercially.
the NYPL dance collection has a copy for view on the premises.

excerpts of this film are included on FREDERICK ASHTON: A REAL CHOREOGRAPHER - a tv documentary that's been shown on US tv but not, again, as far as i know, released commercially.

Dale featured Nerina a lot for her films: FIREBIRD, GISELLE (recently released on dvd, which should be found on Amazon w/ the link on BA's home page by searching "Sylphides/Giselle (2011), PETROUCHKA.

credits of the films with Nerina's Lise follow from NYPL cat.:


La fille mal gardée (Videotape) 1962.88 min. : sd. b&w.
Telecast on BBC-TV, London. Produced by Margaret Dale.
: Choreography: Frederick Ashton. Music: François Joseph Hérold, arranged, re-orchestrated and augmented by John Lanchberry; conducted by John Lanchberry. Decor: Osbert Lancaster. Performed by the Royal Ballet.
: Cast: Nadia Nerina (Lise), David Blair (Colin), Stanley Holden (Widow Simone), Leslie Edwards (Thomas), Alexander Grant (Alain), Lawrence Ruffell (Cockerel), Avril Bergen, Kay Connett, Carole Hill, and Suzanne Smith (Hens), Christine Beckley, Rosalind Eyre, Aubrey Henderson, Ann Kenward, Vyvyan Lorrayne, Monica Mason, Pamela Moncur, and Georgina Parkinson (Lise's friends), Franklin White (Notary), and Michael Coleman (His secretary).


Frederick Ashton: A real choreographer [videorecording] / BBC-TV ; co-produced in association with R.M. Productions ; written and produced by John Selwyn Gilbert. U.K. : BBC-TV, 1979.(50 min.) : sd., col.
Telecast on BBC-TV 1 in 1979.
: Choreography, Frederick Ashton.
: Interview with Frederick Ashton, who discusses his life and career. Dance excerpts depict Anna Pavlova, a major source of inspiration, and examples of his choreography in rehearsal and performance.
: Dance contents: Film excerpts of Anna Pavlova dancing -- Cinderella (excerpt) with Ashton as stepsister -- Foyer de danse (excerpt) with Ashton and Alicia Markova (1932) -- The dream (excerpt) with Merle Park -- La fille mal gardée (excerpt) with Stanley Holden -- Façade (polka) with Judith Marcuse -- Ondine (Shadow dance) with Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes -- Les deux pigeons in rehearsal with Ashton directing the National Ballet of Canada -- La fille mal gardée with Nadia Nerina and David Blair -- Tales of Beatrix Potter (excerpt) with Michael Coleman -- Symphonic variation in rehearsal with Ashton directing senior students of the Royal Ballet School.

#13 Jane Simpson

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:17 AM

I would swear I've seen somewhere recently that the first cast Fille film is going to be released on DVD, but I can't find any reference to it when I look. Maybe someone else remembers?

#14 Nanarina

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 01:28 PM

re: video records of Nerina's Lise in FILLE MAL GARDEE, to the best of my knowledge, the Margaret Dale film of mostly? the first cast, certainly with Nerina and Blair has not been released commercially.
the NYPL dance collection has a copy for view on the premises.

excerpts of this film are included on FREDERICK ASHTON: A REAL CHOREOGRAPHER - a tv documentary that's been shown on US tv but not, again, as far as i know, released commercially.

Dale featured Nerina a lot for her films: FIREBIRD, GISELLE (recently released on dvd, which should be found on Amazon w/ the link on BA's home page by searching "Sylphides/Giselle (2011), PETROUCHKA.

credits of the films with Nerina's Lise follow from NYPL cat.:


La fille mal gardée (Videotape) 1962.88 min. : sd. b&w.
Telecast on BBC-TV, London. Produced by Margaret Dale.
: Choreography: Frederick Ashton. Music: François Joseph Hérold, arranged, re-orchestrated and augmented by John Lanchberry; conducted by John Lanchberry. Decor: Osbert Lancaster. Performed by the Royal Ballet.
: Cast: Nadia Nerina (Lise), David Blair (Colin), Stanley Holden (Widow Simone), Leslie Edwards (Thomas), Alexander Grant (Alain), Lawrence Ruffell (Cockerel), Avril Bergen, Kay Connett, Carole Hill, and Suzanne Smith (Hens), Christine Beckley, Rosalind Eyre, Aubrey Henderson, Ann Kenward, Vyvyan Lorrayne, Monica Mason, Pamela Moncur, and Georgina Parkinson (Lise's friends), Franklin White (Notary), and Michael Coleman (His secretary).


Frederick Ashton: A real choreographer [videorecording] / BBC-TV ; co-produced in association with R.M. Productions ; written and produced by John Selwyn Gilbert. U.K. : BBC-TV, 1979.(50 min.) : sd., col.
Telecast on BBC-TV 1 in 1979.
: Choreography, Frederick Ashton.
: Interview with Frederick Ashton, who discusses his life and career. Dance excerpts depict Anna Pavlova, a major source of inspiration, and examples of his choreography in rehearsal and performance.
: Dance contents: Film excerpts of Anna Pavlova dancing -- Cinderella (excerpt) with Ashton as stepsister -- Foyer de danse (excerpt) with Ashton and Alicia Markova (1932) -- The dream (excerpt) with Merle Park -- La fille mal gardée (excerpt) with Stanley Holden -- Façade (polka) with Judith Marcuse -- Ondine (Shadow dance) with Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes -- Les deux pigeons in rehearsal with Ashton directing the National Ballet of Canada -- La fille mal gardée with Nadia Nerina and David Blair -- Tales of Beatrix Potter (excerpt) with Michael Coleman -- Symphonic variation in rehearsal with Ashton directing senior students of the Royal Ballet School.




Gosh this brings back memories, many of them were my close friends, how time flys, but it is so brilliant to know they are still remembered..... Someone else to mention Sandra Conley for a long time after Gerd Larson became the chief character artist.


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