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Elsa Ivanovna Vill (a.k.a. Will) & Mikhail Konstaninovich Obukhov

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this scan shows a German-produced postcard from Berlin where Elsa Vill and Mikhail Obukhov were probably on tour. there is no identification on the card regarding the name, etc. of the duet in which the dancers are posed.

we know that Obukhov (uncle of Anatole, who eventually emigrated to the States and became a prominent teacher at the School of American Ballet) created the leading male role in the first version (1907) of Fokine's CHOPINIANA.

so far as i can figure, for this rather different version of what later became a moonlit reverie called LES SYLPHIDES, M.K.O. wore a beret and maybe a wig, but not seemingly the longer Chopin-like hair-style wig that became "standard" once the ballet was re-christened as SYLPHIDES, not that this means to imply a CHOPINIANA connection here; it's just that i connect M.K.O. to CHOPINIANA I.

the highlight on the way his hair is parted in this photo makes him look bald but that's only the result of the lighting of the picture.

perhaps there are records of when these two dancers toured Germany noting the year and the repertory, but i don't have access to such files.

neither of these dancers headed west for good: E.I.V. died in Leningrad in 1941; M.K.O. probably in Petrograd in 1914.)

post-848-052228100 1288469056_thumb.jpg

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