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Galina Ulanova in the West - 1951

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this photo of Ulanova in Florence, Italy in 1951 would seem to be somewhat historic b/c this effort represented a not-yet-common tour outside the soviet union. in fact, this 'party of 12 soviet entertainers' might represent the first notable venture for soviet ballet beyond the borders of the USSR after WW II.

too bad the caption doesn't say for which ballet GSU was being applauded - i assume a concert number of some sort - perhaps Liebestruam, which i've only seen in a few still photos.

i have another photo from this same time w/ GSU in THE DYING SWAN but this one seems an even more rare item.


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Having once dipped a toe in the western waters here, didn't the Soviet Culture Ministry authorize an appearance in London by Ulanova and a partner (V. Tikhomirov?) in 1956? I seem to remember reading some old reviews of the "loved her, hated him" variety, and wondering at the curiously old-fashioned æsthetic of the work(s) performed.

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From a photo in Dance & Dancers at the time, the piece was a Valse to music by Rubinstein, and Ulanova's partner, seen in the background, was Yuri Kondratov. I'll have a look in other mags when I have a minute and see if there's more detail.

(The accompanying article, by Trudy Goth, says 'Ulanova, now 41 and in poor health, will probably not dance much longer. It is regrettable that we shall never have the opportunity of seeing her in the full length ballets such as Giselle and Romeo and Juliet for which she is celebrated'. Luckily she was wrong!)

Mel, I don't think Ulanova had been seen in London before the whole Bolshoi company came here in 1956 - somewhere else, perhpas?

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Edwin Denby, describing the evening in Richard Buckle's Ballet magazine, said 'The final Rubinstein waltz was an allegro with bunches of flowers and a very pretty saut de poisson, I couldn't find out by whom: but this also looks to us very demode in style. the style it resembles is a sort of super-dinner-dance adagio couple style: of course it's done so very prettily'.

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i'm a little fuzzy on this chronology but a soviet ballet season was prepared for paris, before the london bolshoi season and i THINK something happened and the tour never took place, tho' there were souvenir programs prepared and some years back i acquired one.

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It's her BIRTHDAY!?!?

Well, we should all celebrate and watch the youtube clip of her dancing the White swan with Sergeyev (in 1940),

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO6NIyAiX4c --

Talk about demode, she makes balletl look like a lost art. it's done in front of a curtain, but it could not be more serious, nor more sublime. her absorption is complete- - though she does things that are simply no done any more, like leading forward with the knee in devellope, the whole thing is so noble, so chaste, it leaves ALL others looking small somehow.

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"... it leaves ALL others looking small somehow.

Thank you, Paul Parish. I have this adagio on a tape/disk but never watched it so close, on a PC screen. Had again the same feeling about her as you had.

I wrote my previous posting yesterday without looking at my watch and I see now that it appeared as today's posting.

To put the facts right: Galina Sergeevna Ulanova was born on the 8 January 1910 (26 December 1909 by the Julian calendar).

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the following scan of a photograph and the label once attached to it are likely from the same tour documented in the photo at the top of this thread.

i suppose the picture and the contemporary caption speak for themselves.



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w/ regard to the posted footage of ulanova and sergeyev in the 'white' swan pas de deux, it might be noted that this footage is nicely and clearly included on THE MAGIC OF THE KIROV (originally released as a videocassette and later as a dvd both in the UK and the US) - a good compliation of historical footage connected w/ st. petersburg.

the 1940 footage seems to record what vaganova set for her 1933 SWAN LAKE - led by ulanova and sergeyev. in this staging ulanova was simply listed as 'swan' while olga jordan was 'odile' in the ballroom act.

the 'look' for the 'innovative' production had the prince in a kind of student guise - he sometimes wore a beret as part of his costume.

re: the RUBINSTEIN VALSE for which ulanova is costumed in the curtain call photo at the top of this thread, the dance appears on a list of her roles in B. Lubov-Anokhin's GALINA ULANOVA (1984 istkusstvo) and gives R. V. Zakharov as choreographer of the (undated) number.

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