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undated grouping of ballet women

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i can say little more about the identification of the ballet scene pictured in the scan below, other than what this photocard spells out as: PRINCESSA RUUSUNEM

i suppose it could be some version of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.

the only further indication on the photo comes from the stamp scanned here as well.




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a colleague's email suggests the title is indeed SLEEPING BEAUTY and that there is an Atelier Ortho in the Netherlands; likewise, if Finland is accurate, the proximity of that country to Russia, esp. to St. Petersburg could account for the slight resemblance the setting bears to the scenery as we know from the 1890-and-after St. P. prod. of BEAUTY - the side entrance with the little flight of stairs for Aurora's entrance compares reasonably, if far less elaborately, with the original Bocharov/Andreyev setting for Petipa's production.

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"Bulevardi" turns up on Google as Finnish or Albanian. (Somehow, I suspect it's not Albania. :flowers: ) Google translates "Princessa RussuneN" as "Sleeping Beauty."

The Finnish Opera -- which quite probably gave ballet performances -- was founded (or refounded) in 1911, according to wikipedia:

A group of notable social and cultural figures, lead by the international star soprano Aino Ackté, founded the Domestic Opera in 1911. From the very beginning, the opera decided to engage both foreign and Finnish artists. A few years later the Domestic Opera was renamed the Finnish Opera in 1914.

Finland was part of the Russian Empire until 1917. Could this photo date from the "Russian" period? Or does it have a 20s look?

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a magnifying glass to the photocard reveals that the final character in the handlettering on the card is indeed an 'n' and not the 'm' it first seemed. (the space between the second, diagonal stroke on the letter and the final vertical seemed to indicate a space for an opposite diagonal, but that would seem to be not so on closer inspection.)

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a colleague with knowledge of ballet in Finland writes as follows:

This is indeed a Finnish production of Sleeping Beauty. It is probably not the George Gé production from the 1920s - the first ballet staged in what would become the Finnish National Opera. I've seen a few photos from that production and I don't believe there are more that anyone knows of. (The scenery here looks different as well.)

The theater (used until the 1990s!) is tiny and was built mostly to entertain Russian officers in the late nineteenth century. It is located on the Boulevard, where the photographer's studio was.

The ballet was restaged frequently after the first production.

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