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Adeline Genee

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in an informative article in THE DANCING TIMES (June, 2008) by Jane Pritchard called ROH: 150 YEARS OF DANCE, the author makes mention of Adeline Genee and of a production of COPPELIA at the Empire around 1906.

the photo/scan here shows Genee and an indentified man (as Dr. Coppelius, presumably) in an undated photo that has "Delibes - COPPELIA" handwritten on the back.

i cannot say if this is the Empire COPPELIA per se, but the COPPELIA identification seems undeniable.

i esp. like the little tasseled hat Genee's Swanlida sports.


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The gesture she's making, with the index fingers pointing? What's up with that? It looks like so many hip young stars making their entrance onto a talk show.

Actually jimmy Slyde, the great tap dancer, would do that gesture, too, at the end of a phrase -- towards the end of his life, so maybe he'd picked it up from the kids

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rg, your wonderful photo opens doors to lots of questions about this period in English ballet history. A bit of Googling turned up (on Google books) a book by Mark E. Perugini, The Art of Ballet (London, 1915). The volume, which was digitised from a copy at the University of California, includes a chapter on the Empire Theatre. From this, I found that Fred Farren was the "old doll-maker" in the 1906 performance and that "Coppelia's somewhat wavering lover" was played by one Miss Dorthy Craske (p. 190).

Incidentally, you are probably familiar with another Swanhilda photo on Genee's Wikipedia entry. It's dated (correctly one assumes) 1900. The costume is more elaborate, with more color contrast, but not unlike the costume in yours.

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