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  1. As a hugely late addition to this topic, you might be interested that I contacted the Ellis Island staff when I was following up the arrivals of Ballets Russes dancers. They told me that everybody arriving in NY was processed by Ellis Island, but whereas the 3rd class passengers were taken over to the island itself, the first and second class would wait on board until cleared. Hence the wealth of publicity photos taken on deck. Both Kosloff brothers first arrived in the US (with Baldina) in October 1910, after which they joined up with Gertrude Hoffman's "Imperial Russian Ballet", staging several of Fokine's "hits".
  2. Readers might be interested to know that I'm now in contact with Theodore Bekefi's son Ted, who has been able to give me family information and photographs of his father. Although not a member of Ballet Alert, Ted happened to come across the website and made contact.
  3. Interesting to see these references - many thanks. Sherer was spelled in a variety of ways - Scherer (German) as well as Cherer (French); his sister Maria used a variety of spellings, as did his other sisters, who had been famous in Russia as the Bekefi sisters. Fedor Bekefi was dancing with his (then) wife, Sofia Rossova (sometimes Sherer, sometimes Bekefi) following their arrival in the US from Russia in 1919 until the mid 1920s. Then the trail seems to go cold until he reappears as a dance teacher in New Jersey in the late 1930s, by which time he seems to have married another of his partners, Grace Robinson. Sorry, I have no information on Ethel Mevay, and have not come across her name before. It would be interesting to hear whether they were indeed partners in the 1930s.
  4. Hi Tana. Excellent and very useful note about the wife Sophia. Your information just helped me to find their 1919 immigration record. He was also dancing in 1921 with "Sofia Rossova", which could have been his wife's maiden name. He took an American wife in the 1920s and had several children. I have been in contact with family members but, although very interested in the family's dance history, they were extremely reluctant to give any information on Fedor. I discovered that he died suddenly while "on holiday" in Las Vegas in 1949. I'd love to exchange more information on the family, but we should do this away from the 'Ballet Alert' website. I suspect we're not allowed to type our private email addresses here - any suggestions? Andrew
  5. What wonderful footage! There's a spontaneity about Karsavina's speech that just never comes across in the sound recordings. Her thoughts about nostalgia for her homeland listening to Petrouchka - the last ballet she ever performed for Diaghilev - are so poignant. Lovely, too, to watch Sokolova, whose memory, as in her written memoirs, is clear and exact. Notice that she still refers to Rambert as Ramberg, the name she had used in 1913. Many thanks for sharing this.
  6. If anyone has an interest, I found out that Theodore Bekefi died "while on holiday" in Las Vegas on 1/8/1949. Oddly enough, given how often he was remembered as a wonderful teacher, there seems not to have been any obituary.
  7. Thanks for this excellent information. You might like to know that the critic Pleshcheev was watching this Karsavina/Andrianov performance on 15/1/1915, and he wrote: "There was much that was excellent about her [Karsavina], particularly in the pas d'action, which the ballerina danced with Mr. Andrianov, creator of this dance, and Mr. Obukhov, but everything bore the nature of flashes of brilliance alternating with shortcomings. The ballet had a new Conrad - Mr. Andrianov - and did not gain from this. Mr. Andrianov has not yet mastered the role." The Obukhov on the programme would have been Anatoli rather than Mikhail, who had died back in September 1914.
  8. This would have been Maria Bekefi, Theodore's sister, also a dancer at the Mariinsky and with Diaghilev under the mother's name Scherer.
  9. I am a London-based dance historian - perhaps one or two have seen my book "Tamara Karsavina, Diaghilev's Ballerina". I'm currently documenting all of the Diaghilev dancers and researching their origins with the Mariinsky, Bolshoi and Wielki theatres. Following the Russian revolution many disappeared without trace, but some made their way to the US as teachers. One of these was Theodore Bekefi, who danced in St Petersburg and with Diaghilev under the name Fedor Scherer. He ended his days teaching in New Jersey, but I have no more information than that. Does anyone have a date of death for him or, even better, an obituary? Many thanks.
  10. The French historian Philippe de Lustrac has demonstrated that the Firebird costume that Bakst designed for Karsavina in 1910 (as shown in the 2nd photo above, with a modified headdress) was influenced by Siamese rather than Russian folklore. In particular, the 2 golden braids are taken from images of the fantastical Siamese Garuda bird, which always holds 2 golden snakes in exactly the same way. Interestingly, when Karsavina came back to the role in 1919 and reverted to an earlier Bakst costume (the one she wore for the 1909 Bluebird pas de deux with Nijinsky), she insisted on adding the 2 braids. To confuse matters even more, the first Karsavina photo above, although technically "L'oiseau de feu", is not Firebird. It is the Bluebird pas de deux photographed in the mid 1920s - Karsavina always loved the original 1909 Bakst costume.
  11. It's a wonderful piece of film. Karsavina's arms are simply beautiful (she was 68 at the time) and give an idea of her "rare romanticism", that Fokine said he was rarely able to evoke from other performers. How generous of her to imagine such a dream cast, given that she had created the original alongside Pavlova, Preobrajenskaya and Nijinsky back in 1908.
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