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Lucia Chase as Giselle, 1937

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it was necessary to check to confirm that the title role referred to in the caption of this photo of Lucia Chase as a dancer in 1937 meant to show her as Giselle, but that turns out to be so.

a Mordkin Ballet souvenir program from the time relates the ballet's story as taking place in France.

other photos, in souvenir booklet itself, show that the designs Serge Soudekine for the wilis had a 1930s look, with some sense of Max Reinhardt's MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM thrown in, and that the settings, also by Soudekine, were modernist to a some deco degree.



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photos of the wilis show them in loose chemise-like garments with sparkles? on them; in reproduction they don't look like cellophane but more like spangled sheer fabric.

Mordkin's earlier GISELLE for a group led by Pavlova and shown at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1910 had a different designer - Joseph Urban - but a similar look to Soudekine's - decidedly not that of the Taglioni-like, full, long skirt, tulle tutu nowadays more or less de rigueur for GISELLE.

here's the NYPL cat. data:

Giselle: Chor: Mikhail Mordkin after Coralli and Perrot; mus: Adolphe Adam; lib: Vernoy Saint-Georges and Gautier; scen & cos: Joseph Urban. First U.S. perf: New York City, Metropolitan Opera House, Oct 15, 1910, All-Star Imperial Russian Ballet, Anna Pavlova.//Revival: New York City, Majestic Theatre, 1937, Mordkin Ballet; scen & cos: Serge Soudeikine

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