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i recently encountered the attached photo of Tatiana Riabouchinska and her unknown (to me) Bluebird partner. (the photo itself is inscribed to a one-time owner by an individual i take to have the photo's previous owner, but i left that out of the scan b/c is doesn't really apply to the dancers in the picture.)

i sent out this scan to some colleagues who know their ballet russe history far better than i do and got some fairly good information by return emails regarding the photo's date and the unknown dancer's identity.

i'm posting it here w/o my 'answers' in case BT members w/ the ballet russe in their backgrounds might like to venture guesses.

i'll post in a day or two the information i've been sent by colleagues.

[needless to remark i'd appreciate it if any BT member already in the loop of my seeking information would refrain from adding any comment until those unfamiliar w/the photo have had a chance to look it over for themselves.]


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One of the Georges---Skibine or Zoritch ???
I also thought of Zoritch. I looked a stock internet photos of him and others in the company. However, the prominent nose and monumental chin -- and the w-i-d-e smile -- seem unique. (Maybe it's because the posed studio photos of Ballet Russe men don't seem to show them smiling.) Looking forward to the answer. :wink:
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i can't say i'll have a definitive answer. i'm getting a few very educated guesses from the colleagues i've polled. one strong one seems to be gaining in 'votes' tho' i suppose i may never know for certain.

i'll let the day run its course and post what i've learned no later than tomorrow.

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as noted, some colleagues offered educated guesses as to the identity of the 'Bluebird' dancer in the backstage photo w/ Riabouchinska.

one author in the UK strongly suggested it looked to be Anton Dolin, noting a program on file there that confirmed his perfomance as Bluebird in Australia in '38. Three or four other correspondents said it looked like Dolin to them as well, this after learning of my emailed suggestion. Some went to books and found that the resemblance was there. David Vaughan said 'looks like Pat to me' referring to Anton D. by his born-name, Patrick.

One NY voice thought perhaps Roman Jasinsky, but D.Vaughan said, 'no' - i knew R.J. and this isn't what he looked like.

One UK respondent who conferred about Dolin, noting he wasn't thought be to a distinguished interpreter of Bluebird, but that he did indeed dance it. This same opinion came w/ a comment wondering if these legs jibed w/ Dolin's.

i've looked at a few book illustrations and feel the Dolin identification is sound.

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re: riabouchinska's height - one of the books i looked through recently had a group foto w/ riabouchinska standing near chaplin, a man not known for being tall so far as i can tell, and the ballerina was about the same height as movie star. o'course riabouchinska got 'taller' on point.

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And I don't know that Petroff ever danced the Bluebird. He was a danseur noble type - the Siegfreids, the Desirés, and the like.

Edited to add: If Riabouchinska were the same height as Chaplin in that group picture, with which I am unfamiliar, she may also have been wearing heels which would have her a little bit taller than her natural height.

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