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Google is currently hosting digitized images (photos) from LIFE magazines archives. AND they are in the process of digitizing ALL of LIFE magazines images (photos + etchings).


"...We're digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos..."

The collection naturally contains many MANY ballet photos:







wow. just wow.

and excitingly, apparently all these photos are available for purchase.


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As carbro says, this is indeed a GOLDMINE. Many of the shots are fairly standard, but some -- especially the older black and white shots -- reveal a side of some of these dancers I've never seen before.

For those who've been discussing the ABT Tudor R&J on another thread, you HAVE to look at Nora Kaye in this role (1944). Who knew she could be so beautiful. http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?img...l%3Den%26sa%3DN

Here's one that Melissa Hayden probably wished had never been taken:


I love the early 40s School of American Ballet photos, too -- like this:


And what about the the page devoted to my neighborhood Ballet Master, Edward Villella?

Even with his head missing, he looks great. I love warm-up and rehearsal shots. http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?img...l%3Den%26sa%3DN

Cristian, are you reading this thread? there are masses of shots of Alicia Alonso in her early days, sexy and exotic in "Undertow." http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?img...l%3Den%26sa%3DG

Thank you, goro, for posting both story and links. :P

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Looking at the archive (with every waking hour...), I see that a ton of images are unlabeled, either with dancers' names or the ballets that they're in. As an example, there are supposedly no shots of Villella and McBride together in Rubies, but looking under 'saratoga ballet' will produce a bunch. Looking under Ballet Theatre will produce standard pictures of 'ballerina' even though the woman is recognizably Markova. I don't suppose we can contribute our own labels?


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Thanks, emilienne, for the lead to Villela/McBride in Rubies. I've been doing some exploring, as you suggest. I think I've found what may have been a sub-genre of LIFE ballet photos: the photographer of several dancers each wearing costumes from a different ballet. I've already linked the Melissa Hayden photo. Here's an odd but rather lovely juxtaposition of Diana Adams from Dim Lustre and Barbara Fallis from Apollo. 19th century Vienna meets Classical Greece. More important, Tudor meets Balanchine for a brief moment, something which I suppose never actually happened on stage.


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If you're a fan of the Bolshoi Ballet, the LIFE image archive is definitely a goldmine. :P There are many pictures from this ballet troupe performing at the Bolshoi Theater; this is not surprising considering during the Soviet era the Bolshoi Theater was truly the "pride and joy" of the country (in short, the Russians were more than happy for the publicity accorded this ballet troupe in the West) and a several Bolshoi stars became legends in the West: Galina Ulanova (even though it was later in her career), Maya Plisetskaya, Ekaterina Maximova, Vassily Vasiliev, and several others.

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Whose production of Nutcracker was ABT presenting in 1947? That's a beautiful photo of Alonso & Youskevitch in it... or was it a studio pose not related to the actual choreography?

Alicia Alonso & Igor Youskevitch in the American Ballet Theater production of "The Nutcracker."

Actually, ABT only did the Nutcracker Pas de Deux between the sugar-plum fairy and the prince---the only longer version of Nutcracker around in NYC at the time was by the Denham Ballet Russe; a truncated version by, I believe, Alexandra Fedorova.

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