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Fokine class

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scan of a photo, dated 1923 in handwriting on the back, of a ballet class posed with Michel Fokine (presumably in NYC).

interestingly, the all-female group shows the students working barefoot.

as the saying sometimes goes: no further information.


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I have somewhere a photo of my mother (later on in the 20s, I believe) wearing a similar practice costume. Unlike the dancers in the photo, she was wearing slippers, but -- like them -- no tights. Does this dress -- or this look -- have a name?

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And there's the cane! (still fascinated by a tool's disappearance from modern dance pedagogy).

I think it's interesting to see so many different renditions of the position... makes me wonder if he wanted a natural turn-out in it rather the traditional 5th sousus... also the hands... some of them have that one hand higher than the other like Doukodovsky used give... and one wonders which focus he indicated, some of them look at the floor, some just tilt and gaze downward... some just turn... Judging by the way some are right up against the back wall, it was posed for the photographer rather than just a candid moment in class... but Fokine himself is half framed out of the picture! And the variations in tunics is interesting too...

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Given the absence of men, I wonder if this was a rehearsal as opposed to a class (which would also explain the dancers being bunched against the back wall). As for the difference in the ladies' gazes, if Fokine is giving a correction (as the raised cane suggests), the eyes may be turned to him as the dancers' attention focuses on him.

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