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Catherine Littlefield and her Philadelphia Ballet Company, 1937

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scan of a newsphoto of Littlefield and some of her Philadelphia Ballet Company dancers returning to the States from a tour of Europe.

in addition to making a name for herself and her company, Catherine and her sister Dorothie were American ballet pioneers about which too little, it seems, has been written. (a colleague has however noted that a biography of Catherine is being worked on and that the writer is in NYC this summer.) the Littlefield's school and company were known to Balanchine when he arrived here in '33 and were one source of dancers for his own school and early companies. Dorothie is named in the chronology of Choreography by Balanchine as being on the faculty of the newly opened School of American Ballet in '34, along with Balanchine himself and Pierre Vladimirov.

this newsphoto includes both male and female dancers from the troupe. other, early Philadelphia Ballet Co. photos often show only some its women.

unfortunately, no dancer names are given here.

here's a catalog listing from NYPL:

<<

Littlefield, Catherine: Founded Philadelphia Grand Opera Company Ballet; in 1935 formed her own company, the Little Ballet, which changed its name several months later to the Philadelphia Ballet Company.
>>

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I WOULD LOVETO KNOW THE NAMES OF THE DANCERStiphat.gif

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I'm thrilled to hear that someone is working on Catherine L -- she was very influential and we don't know enough!

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one correspondent wondered if sister Dorothie was among the women, which is perhaps a good assumption but not an identification.

i believe Charles Laskey was with the PBC but i can't say if he's here or not.

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I'm working on a biography of Catherine and am looking forward to being in NYC from late August through mid December. Regarding the photo, I'm pretty certain that the women are as follows (from left to right): June Graham, Betty Kerns, Miriam Golden, Dania Krupska, Joan McCracken and Norma Gentner. The only man I can identify is Carl Littlefield--Catherine and Dorothie's youngest brother--who is second from left.

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Is it just me or do the boy furthest right and the boy third from the right look like brothers?

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Miriam Golden went on to dance with Ballet Theatre---she is fondly remembered for her portrayal of the Italian ballerina in "Gala Performance"---Joan McCracken was in the original production of "Oklahoma" and was well known as "the girl who fell down" in the deMille ballet and also as one of Jud Fry's naughty postcards.....

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Lisa Jo Sagolla wrote a biography of McCracken called "The Girl Who Fell Down." (and it's available on Amazon, if you want to click on the little box...)

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I'm working on a biography of Catherine and am looking forward to being in NYC from late August through mid December. Regarding the photo, I'm pretty certain that the women are as follows (from left to right): June Graham, Betty Kerns, Miriam Golden, Dania Krupska, Joan McCracken and Norma Gentner. The only man I can identify is Carl Littlefield--Catherine and Dorothie's youngest brother--who is second from left.

Many thanks for the ID's, and welcome to Ballet Alert!

I look forward to reading your biography when it is published. Please let us know when it's ready for publication.

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scan of a 1937 companion newsphoto related to the one posted above.

i suppose Littlefield herself might not have been looking through the photographer's view-finder. if she had been, she might have suggested a better position for the taking of the photo, as this result quite unhappily cuts off the feet, reminding one of sitting in a theater with such poor sightlines and having the dancers' feet blocked from view.

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