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The Unknown Dancer


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I was watching my tape of An Evening With the Royal Ballet the other night and wondering yet again, as I do each time I watch it, who was that lovely soloist in Les Sylphides? Having been filmed at the height of the craze for Nureyev and Fonteyn, the film only credits N & F and "Artists of the Royal Ballet" for Les Sylphides. Now, I know she must have had a name, and even one that I might recognize or find in an old program, but I don't recognize her. It also made me wonder if at another time, everyone would have been given credit, principals, soloists, and even corps. However, because it was N & F, other names were dismissed. How many other dancers through the years have been lost in the shuffle to a Nureyev, a Fonteyn, a Baryshnikov, a Makarova, a Kirkland, etc? I'd like to know first, if anyone can identify the ballerina in this performance of Les Sylphides for me, and second, can you think of any other dancer that you particularly liked who was not noticed because he/she was forced to dance in the shadow of another?

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from the new york public library on-line catalog:

Les sylphides / film directed by Asquith ; choreography, Serge Grigoriev and Lubov Tchernicheva after Mikhail Fokin ; music, Chopin, arr. by Ray Douglas ; danced by Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, with Merle Park (valse), Annette Page (mazurka), and members of the Royal Ballet.

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thanks, nora! but then i realized i should have given the rest as well. the corsaire is obvious and 'la valse' is not otherwise identified, but here are the credits for the 'act iii sleeping beauty:

Aurora's wedding (Act III of The sleeping beauty) / film directed by Anthony Asquith ; choreography, Nikolai Sergeev after Marius Petipa ; music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky ; sets and costumes, Oliver Messel ; cast: Fonteyn (Princess Aurora) and David Blair (Florimund); Graham Usher, Merle Park, Georgina Parkinson (Prince Florestan & his sisters); Antoinette Sibley, Brian Shaw (Bluebirds); Douglas Steuart (Puss-in-Boots) & Virginia Wakelyn (White cat); Ann Howard (Red Riding Hood) & Ronald Plaisted (Wolf); Alexander Grant, Keith Milland, Lawrence Ruffell (Three Ivans); Leslie Edwards (Cattalabutte); Ray Powell (Carabosse); Deanne Bergsma (Lilac fairy); Derek Rencher & Gerd Larsen (King Florestan & his queen).

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