Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Corps de ballet grouping

Recommended Posts

this is a scan of an undated, unidentified stage photo of a corps de ballet in youknowwhat ballet.

but can you name the company?

the production?

the approx. date?

i have thoughts tho' no hard facts on any of these questions.


Link to comment

i don't think any clue will help generate interest in a corps de ballet grouping.

i suspect i am part of a very small minority that might find fascination in this kind of photo.

firstly, what act of this ballet are we seeing?

my 'information' will be mostly conjecture, and in the end, i wonder if anyone will have anything more solid to offer than my own observations.

i'll let this 'sit' until, say, tomorrow, and then note what i think is captured in the photo and see if anyone has anything to add, or to correct, or contradict or just yawn over.

one hint: this shows one of the 'ballet russe' companies.

Link to comment

This seems to be caught in the midst of a complicated and extended movement for the entire group. Each dancer is frozen at her own particular position within the larger movement. Does anyone have any ideas about what the group as a whole is doing?

Link to comment

here are my observations, etc.

this is a large-size photo print with no identification anywhere on it.

some writing is cut off from the top of the back of the print, which may or may not indicate it as the work of the well-known ballet photographer Constantine.

His 1947 book, SOUVENIR DE BALLET, has related photos of the corps de ballet from Col. W. de Basil's Ballet Russe in LE LAC DES CYGNES (THE SWAN LAKE) (one-act version) that show what appear to be these same costumes, with their distinctive length and little puff sleeves. The ballet's credits in K.S.Walker's DE BASIL'S BALLETS RUSSES credit the production's design(s) as follows:

"sc. Visconti and Geerts, 1932, sc. ex. Prince A. Schervachize (in Australia, 1940, c. and sc. were credited to C. Korovine, sc. ex. O Allegri)"

i have no idea if the ensemble in this photo ever performed under the above credits. (as was the earlier tradition for both the Sadler's Wells Ballet and American Ballet Theater, this staging seems to include knee-length tutu skirts for the ensemble, with the Swan Queen - not seen in this photo - costumed in shorter cut, so-called 'classical tutu.')

what strikes me about this photo most likely from the era when only the so-called 'second act' of SWAN LAKE was given is the grouping's disposition on the stage. it relates little to what i associate with echt-Ivanov patterning familiar from the era. to me it looks like something that might occur in the ballet's final act. it suggests an almost Ashton-like hand, that is, a stager who has added a personal touch to the standard Ivanov/N.Sergeyev 'swan lake' structuring.

this is now all i have to add by way of identification for this photo.

Link to comment

Now that I see that credit (plunk them mystic chords of memory, Froggy!), I guess that the Doukoudovsky-led Swan that was filmed might well have been the de Basil Ballets Russes. The Odette was Nina Stroganova (Mrs. D.) They also did an in-house filming of "Graduation Ball". Even though there was a war on, somebody thought it was important to use film for this preservation purpose. One thing I do remember about the film I saw was that at the end of the "Dances of the Swans" just before the coda, the corps took one of the clunkiest-looking tableaux I can ever recall. Somebody had to work really hard to make something look that bad!

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...