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a ballet class


rg

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this scan has some captioning which i can post in a day or so. after anyone who cares to, takes a 'look around' the photo and suggests where it is taking place and who is in charge, etc.

the photo is undated, so i can't provide that data w/ any certainty.

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Just a guess but, Vaganova Academy. The floors look to be the same, the barres are the same, double doors for entrance and exit, the mirrors are the same, the reflection in the mirrors of the windows, looks like one of the 1st floor studios, not used very often anymore. I only saw it through a key hole, so I am not sure if there was a fireplace in it or not. As for the teacher, oh my, I have no idea. :wallbash: I did see photos of my pedagogy teacher in class with Vaganova in similar class attire, so maybe it is Vaganova, although I do not see her in the photo.

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i looked at the picture that is on the wall, high up, and although it doesn't come in too clearly it appears not to have russian lettering on it. i don't know if all studios had photos like that (a single photo as opposed to photos all over) but maybe it is french, with a teacher who came from russia? (i.e. preobrajenska etc.?) 20's or 30's?

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here's a scan of the captioning pasted to the back of the photo.

as experience has taught us, such information is not necessarily perfectly accurate. (notice how the caption spells Astafieva's name.)

but it's still more than i would know with only my eyes to guide me.

british BT members can speak with more accuracy than i ever could on the 'chelsea' location of this studio.

the IED has no specific entry on S.A. but index references note that Dolin studied and taught, while still young himself, in S.A.'s chlesea studio, and history has elsewhere told us that both Fonteyn and Markova also eventually studied w/ S.A.

additionally, i am including a higher resolution scan/close-up of the poster/portrait over the mirrors and the wreath below it.

i find it somewhat odd that S.A. would put a portrait of herself in her studio, but the photo claims to show 'the princess' herself teaching here, so if that's correct, i guess she did put herself in a frame at the front of her studio - as has been pointed out, in the once-imperial studios portraits of the likes of Petipa and Vaganova are familiar fixtures.

this wreath may well be some presentational item from some gala celebrating S.A.'s career.

the one over the mantle, not seen in the close-up scan, may well be a christmas decoration.

as i say british BT members could likely add more observations here.

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Congratulations, Mme. Hermine, for getting the name of the instructor/studio.

The connection with Tolstoy is interesting. As are the bloomers or whatever you call them worn by the lady to the right.

By the way ... what are they DOING? Even my elderly/beginner arabesque looks better than that.

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I am guessing the arabesques are in the old French style, with the body leaning forward so as to form a curve instead of the strictly upright back favored by the Italian school. I don't know when/if Astafieva was at the imperial ballet school, but is it possible that she was there before Italians such as Cecchetti started teaching there? If that is the case, I believe she would have learned the old French style of dancing--it's Karsavina, if I recall correctly, who mentions in her book that instruction at the imperial ballet school was largely based on the French method. Then Cecchetti and other Italians brought in their style and method of execution, and later Vaganova took the best of both to form her own teaching method.

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this scan has some captioning which i can post in a day or so. after anyone who cares to, takes a 'look around' the photo and suggests where it is taking place and who is in charge, etc.

the photo is undated, so i can't provide that data w/ any certainty.

Definitely not Mercury - was there myself. Maybe not so long ago as the photo, but I was told the main structure hadnt changed for a long time. That fireplace though, looks suspiciously English.

The dancers look rather amateurish to say the least.

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Astafieva's Chelsea studio was in the Kings Road, in the Pheasantry, a building with an interesting history. The accounts I found of her from NYPL (searching on Asta'ieva gets more results than Astafieva) claim she always wore high heels to teach (though not here apparently) and also favoured an orange wig. (She was Kchessinskaya's sister-in-law, which I didn't know till now.)

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