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Name the dancer

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Mel has hit on it.

The 1976 Cukor movie, THE BLUE BIRD, a US/Soviet Russian collaboration (filmed in Russia, Leningrad I presume, with a cast of Soviet and American actors), didn’t stay in circulation very long. V.Canby’s NYTimes rev., easily found on google, is hardly positive.

The choreography is by Igor Belsky. Pavlova is the title role.

Interestingly the movie’s Russian title is SINYAYA PTITSA and not GOLUBAYA PTITSA (not sure I have transliterated correctly). The play includes, so far as I can recall, the Fairy of the plot sending two children in search of the Bluebird of Happiness, which I think she notes as being skyblue. (Elizabeth Taylor plays the script's mother and fairy.) But, SINYAYA means dark blue, indigo, I assume, and Golub’ means light/sky-blue. In THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, the Russians call the Perrault Bluebird "Golubaya Ptitsa"and I assume L’Oiseau bleu in it’s French language ref. to the role. This movie is called L’OISEAU BLEU in it’s French language reference. And hereabouts, so far as I can tell, a bluebird is a bluebird is a bluebird.

Regardless, Pavlova, revealing her marvelous physique etc., performs beautifully with a same glorious jump and use of her hands that I recall memorably from her US debut in ’73.

Canby’s review implies there might be more dancing in the Soviet version of the film, but the Russico DVD I have of the film, entitled SINYAYA PTITSA is preumbably the Soviet version –it can be played in Russian or in English, all more or less dubbed - but there isn’t all that much dancing to be seen.

The setting is “fantastic” garden/place where the children find themselves toward the end of their journey to discover and capture and bring home the bluebird of happiness.

Here is a second scan of my only publicity photo from the film.


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in a footnote to the query about LEGEND OF LOVE, it so happens that Pavlova, opposite an equally remarkable Vyacheslav Gordeyev (as Ferkhad) gave most memorable performances as Shirin in this ballet.

somewhere i have a photo or two, when they surface i may scan and post.

leningrad legend that i've heard has it that the vivid blue-green color of virsiladze's costume scheme for Ferkhad, the painter of the narrative, was specifically chosen because it was so becoming on Nureyev; then RN bolted and the role went to Aleksandr Gribov, but the blue remained in place. (i wonder if there is Russian word for this shade of blue?)

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apparently Maeterlinck wanted the first production of his play to be given by the Moscow Art Theater.

these scans of four photocards show characters from what i assume to have been that premiere production:

left to right:

Fire [w/ thanks to Andrei for the correction], Water, Fairy (as a hag, before her transformation), Rabbit (or is this a Hare?)



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thanks, A. for the elaboration about tourquoise and for the correction for FIRE.

i've corrected my error, and misreading of the costume.

idly, i wonder if there is a distinction in Russian between 'rabbit' and 'hare'

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