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R S Edgecombe

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About R S Edgecombe

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    scholar and writer
  • City**
    South Africa
  1. Not to worry, RG, I have been having such moments with increasing frequency ever since I turned 50 last year. Heather sweet-naturedly calls them my "senior moments"--as when I recently told Mel that I thought ailuros was the Greek word for mongoose, and found out today that the OED cheerfully glosses ailuros as cat. Though it must be Hellenistic Gk, because I can't find an entry for ailuros in my (abbreviated) Liddell and Scott, which was co-authored by Alice in Wonderland's papa (I think--another senior moment threatens!). Thanks for disconnecting the tunic from The Talisman. I looked at Niji
  2. I think Mel makes an excellent point, RG, and I much prefer it to Keith Money's suggestion simply because the wing clasping IS so distinctive to Sylphides, and has no parallel in Giselle. I was so thrown by the Legat's tunic that I didn't think of making the connection. But I don't think the photo represents anybody IN anything, really. I have a sense that two dancers arrived in a studio with different costumes in their portmanteaux and Pavlova said,"Why don't you hold my wings as in Les Sylphides" and Legat obliged. Her arms are wrong for that moment, which I recall as a sort of aerial breast
  3. Thanks for the amusing and informative post, Mashinka. Well, I never! Where there's a will, there's a way. I know that Ivanov had some difficulty over miming the idea of a judge (I think it was in The Magic Flute). His solution was to let the hands move up and down and reach equilibrium--like the scales of justice. Like you, I would be very interested to see the symphonic Massine--or any Massine at all, for that matter!
  4. Jane, I didn't know about the tape, and shall email David Leonard as soon as I log off here. Thank you VERY much. I am as surprised as you to find out that Mam'zelle A wasn't a revival, though I should have been alerted by the Jacobs connection. It's unlikely that ABT would have crossed the Atlantic for an arrangement, though I don't know enough about American ballet to be sure who they would in fact have turned to. Rosenthal was French, I think, but Gaiete parisien prob premiered in Europe. And I wonder how Balanchine came to ask Rieti to give Bellini a make-over. Was Night Shadow originally
  5. We could be talking about different versions though she does what I describe in my Bolshoi tape, and she did the same in the Cape Town version that David Poole based on the RB, and she did in the one RB performance I saw, except their she tended to brush her hands over her shoulder instead of planting them. I have just stumbled across a picture of Preobrajenskaya in Petipa's Bluebeard that might be the unconscious source of my Florine fantasy. She has a white dove (stuffed, I'm afraid) slung between her index and middle fingers, and two white wings on her head, making her both a bird and a bi
  6. Munch. Munch. That's the sound of my humble pie going down, Mel. BUT, thanks to your astute prodding and correcting, I now stand confirmed in my belief that Lormier meant us to read Carlotta's wings as moth wings. I have combed my butterfly encyclopaedia, and am 98% sure that no butterfly has, but many moths have, a marked flattening of the forewing apex, with a concave segment immediately below it on the wing's outer margin. It is a pretty defining morphological feature. As fate would have it, my researches turned up a butterfly that might be said to have, if not a concavity on the forewing i
  7. I think I might have to eat a huge wadge of humble pie in Mel's presence, but I shall defer the ritual until I have had time to leaf through a book of moths in the UCT library. There was no Luna Moth in my Consolidated Encyclopaedias--I must have been crossing lines with another set of books from my childhood, the Afrikaans Kinderensiklopedie, which I no longer possess. All I know is that I pored over a plate containing a Luna Moth for many hours as a child--not attentively enough, it seems, for an internet search for a Luna turned up a convex forewing, and so too a search for the SA Emperor M
  8. Exactly--conVEX, not concave! I think the Lunar Moth analogy is a good one, but I can't quite picture the line of the forewing. I'm sure it's illustrated somewhere in a curious old set of Consolidated Encylopaedias circa 1940 that my dad bought for my mom when they got married. They came with a free two- volume Webster. Some of the entries are nothing short of astonishing--that for "negro," for example. I shall see if I can turn up the moth in question in one of the colour plates.
  9. Sorry, Hans, I have only just come across your post, having failed to activate the notification button. Ballet is never very logical nor very conscious of scale. Snowflakes danced in Casse, but they also carried wands with snowballs on them. They are snow personified, and yet snow literal falls from the flies, and snow literal is bobbing in their hands. Non sequitur logically, and non sequitur spatially--snow on three different scales. Ditto the roosters and hens in Fille in relation to the hawk that Mere Simon has so brutally nailed to the barn. It's enough to make the snowflakes and Osbert
  10. Mel, I was careful to specify the FOREwing of Carlotta's pair--by which I meant the line from the head to apex of the upper wing. Many butterflies have ragged profiles to their margins from the apex down the side of the wing, some so concave there, in fact, that they are called Commas. There is, however, no butterfly that I know of with a concave line like Carlotta's, but quite a few moth species, among them the SA Pine Tree Moth. Can't give you its Linnaean name because I have never studied Hymenoptera. You are quite correct about the Death's Head Moth in Keats. Its most famous iconological a
  11. Thanks very much, RG. I meant to see if the Music College had yr bk on Friday, but it slipped my mind amid all the other tasks I had set myself--which is often the pattern of my shopping. Clearly I must start taking lists to the library as well as to the supermarket. I shall certainly order it and read it if it isn't. Just to confirm, the title is Ballet 101, isn't it? The only Bayadere I know well is Nureyev's, though I did see the first BBC Kirov telecast with Komleva in the late 70s--an occasion when I tried so hard to commit as many of the steps to memory as I could while the ballet was un
  12. Oh my prophetic soul (again!). I had always thought that the golden idol might not have been Minkus, or, if Minkus, very souped-up. Could you please give us Zubkovsky's dates, RG, if you have them? I shall listen again closely and see if I detect any non-Minkusian features that might point to a gusset. I also have me doobts aboot the fakir dance at the wedding. Is there any evidence of choreographic insertion here too? A Gorsky/Simon affaire, perhaps?
  13. Thanks for that correction, Alexandra. It seems, though, that Brenaa was a relatively scrupulous Bournonville archivist. He learned spotting from Egorova for introduction into the non-Bournonville parts of the RDB rep. I don't think he would ever have introduced more pirouettes than the master had dictated into any of his B revivals. His big fight with Fleming Flindt centred indeed on the very issue of fidelity to B's intentions--this after FF wanted to commission Riisager to make a "palimpsest" of the Helsted score for The Toreador--just as Tchaikovsly "overwrote" a Minkus original to forge t
  14. Hi again, Citrus. Any excuse to avoid grading essays, so here I am again to tell you that I've just had another thought about Giselle's wings! The reason why they are shaped as they are, with points at the tip, rather than rounded like the Sylphide's, is almost certainly because the designer wanted us to think of moths. I know a little about butterflies, but next to nothing about moths, but even so, I am fairly sure that that concave line to the forewing (as opposed to the convex butterfly line of Sylphide's) can be found in some moths, but never in butterflies. The point of this is to stress
  15. That was very kind of you, Jorgen. Thanks so much. I wasn't aware of your post when I added to thread headed "Photographs" a short while ago. I agree that the Ju:rgensen is a veritable treasure trove. And aren't the Bournonville backdrops almost unfailingly delicate and well-composed? The Russian equivalents seem v clumsy by comparison.
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