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unidentified photo, probably? Yuri Soloviev?

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It's BEAUTIFUL, rg -- Looks from the plastique like some airy sprite -- the west wind? maybe something by Jakobson.

The costume is less interestin to me than hte pose, which is VERY contrapposto'd and very specific, and very very beautiful/

Thanks for posting.

WHo was that guy who danced with Osipenko? Semenov or Markovsky? Actually, maybe Nisnevich in a wig?

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RG, I've made a 'match' of sorts. The 2004 Russian tome, Yuri Soloviev, Life and Work (publishers "DEAN" in St. Petersburg), includes a different-but-similar photo of YS in this very costume; the dangling cord on his hip, cord down the chest, the arm bands, turban, etc....exactly the same costume. In my photo, he is posing in a slight lunge, outstretched arms holding a large bow that he is about to fire. Caption: Concert number "OKEAN" (or "Ocean"), 1958. The photo is on a page devoted to YS's graduation from the ballet academy and is the first adult performance pic in the book, so it's safe to assume that this number was performed either at or just before the annual graduation gala at the Kirov/Mariinsky Theater in May/June 1958.

I scanned the text of the first couple of chapters in the book (which is a series of essays & recollections from former colleagues/friends) and there is no mention or description of the number. I also checked the thorough appendix listing all of YS's professional roles; this concert number OKEAN is not listed, letting us know that it was most likely performed 'only' during his student days (not yet a pro).

I am guessing that maybe - maybe - whoever donated the photo to the publisher may have mislabeled it as "OKEAN" instead of ACTEON....sounds a little similar in the Russian language. The photo in my book, with the bow, certainly looks like an Acteon. [Neither Diana & Acteon pdd nor Esmeralda are listed in his repertoire in the appendix...so all clues lead to this being a very early, pre-professional photo, whether Okean or Acteon.]

I hope that this helps. Sorry that I do not have a scanner. The pic is on page 37 of the book, upper-right corner, just above the photo with all of the 1958 graduates and pedagogues.

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Acteon is a Greek hunter. The costumes I've seen have been simple material, not so decorated as the costume in rg's photo, which has a vaguely "oriental" (Turkish, Persian etc.) look..

That positioning of the arms also looks oriental. Somewhere I've seen that before, but can't recall where.

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This is a photo from Soloviev's graduation at the Vaganova academy, as per the cited book. It was a concert number titled OKEAN (possibly mislabled). The photo in the book is exactly like RG's, except that the dancer is carrying a bow, about to shoot an arrow. (The costume of the "ocean" in Ocean and Two Pearls is more of a bodysuit/unitard...and there is no bow-and-arrow in sight.)

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many thanks for replying.

a colleague in Paris found the same, related photo in what i presume to be the same book you have, Natalia.

Russian/Soviet ballet has been known to use"ocean" to refer to the Neptune figure in the "Ocean and the Pearls" number from LITTLE HUMPBACKDED HORSE, but as noted above this costume looks as if it might indicate something other than the king of the sea.

likewise when later in his career Soloviev danced this number, with a gossamer-like cape on his sleeves, it was often called the spirit or genii of the waters.

without more information it's hard to say what graduation number was devised for the young Soloviev on the brink of his career as virtuoso Soviet dancer?

one presumes showcase numbers were variously arranged for young, talented dancers, and in some cases perhaps not given again after the graduation performance.

(i don't think, for ex., that Nijinsky's SWINEHERD PRINCE, if i recall the title correctly [by Kulichevskaya after H.C.Andersen] was given again after his graduation performance.)

i have a few more feelers out there, some to veteran Kirov dancers, so maybe more hard facts will emerge.

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Hopefully, somebody with access to the playbill of the Class of '58 graduation performances can clarify this for once and for all. When I get a bit more time, I'll quickly read published reminiscences of that 1958 graduation performance by classmates Vinogradov and/or descriptions in books about Nureyev. (Talk about a class packed with male talent!) I also have a small Soviet booklet about YS's pedagogue, Shavrov, which may yield further clues.

I'll bet that the photo of Acteon, with the bow, was mislabeled as Okean. In spoken Russian, the "O" of 'Okean' is pronounced as an "A"....Akean - Actean will sound almost the same.

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RG, how I wish that I could somehow 'virtually share' my books with you & other Kirov-Mariinsky scholars! The previously-cited 2004 tome includes two on-stage pics of YS as IKAR (page 165). This 1974 ballet was one of his last premieres; YS looked quite different (leaner body; longer hair) than he did in the subject photo, which is definitely from his 1958 graduation year. (All photos in the tome are in strict chronological order.) Most notably, in the IKAR pics, YS wears a very-very different costume. Quite modernistic - a stark one-shouldered sleeveless leotard with 3 diagonal stripes across the chest. In one of the photos, he also sports thick flat wings on his arms...very bulky looking wings, as in the Lifar version, but a different sort of leotard.

In some Soviet versions of the Diana & Acteon Grand Pas/PDD, Acteon indeed bounds onto the stage carrying the bow. (His is huge - at least a half-body length.) After the initial diagonal of jetes, he casts away the big bow and one of the corps ladies (huntresses) retrieves it as Acteon begins his adagio with Diana, who normally keeps her little bow for the adagio. In the Perm Ballet gala that toured the USA a few years ago, both Diana & Acteon had bows at the start of the piece - hers tiny and his huge. This 'two bows version' is also on film but I can't tell you at the moment exactly which company and which dancers.

r. Yakobsens: Your friend may have been thinking of the miniature "The Bird and the Hunter." I've just checked this in the 1960 film of Yakobsen Minitatures danced by the Kirov. The 'hunter' of the dance (Alexander Gribov) wears a dark furry costume...and just imitates the use of a bow at the start of this short adagio in which the bird slowly dies. The other Yakobsen possibility -- and a role of YS -- is Ali Batir, the hunter and male romantic lead of the ballet Shuraleh. Ali Batir is garbed in Tatar national clothing...nothing like the skimpy outfit in your postcard...but Ali Batir carries a huge bow!

Somewhere there must be a printed programme and/or recollection of that 1958 Vaganova Academy graduation to let us know, for once and for all, what YS danced on that occasion (thus, a clue to RG's photo, as the costume is definitely related to that graduation).

p.s. Alas, my quick search of possible docs yielded no description of that 1958 academy concert (and what YS may have danced). However, my booklet on Shavrov -- YS' teacher at the academy -- indicates that Shavrov was famous for the Diana & Acteon pdd and often staged this and other great 1930s/40s acrobatic numbers for student groups. So?????

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You're welcome, RG! I truly love looking up anything related to Kirov-Mariinsky lore in my collection. If only I could afford to do only this, time-wise. (Wouldn't we all, eh?)

Since you mentioned SPARTAK: No SPARTAK in YS' rep. I just checked this in the 2004 tome. It's a rather trustworthy list, compiled by Vadim Kiselev of the St. Petersburg Theater Museum -- from YS' first role as a 'friend of the prince' in Swan Lake (1958) to his last debut as Romeo in R&J (1975).

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A quick final check of a couple of English-language sources has yielded results:

Gennadi Smakov's The Great Russian Dancers, Soloviev chapter, mentions that YS performed two pas de deux at his graduation in 1958:

1. Diana & Acteon pdd (bingo!)...hence, the photo in the '58 graduation section in my 2004 tome...the costume in YOUR postcard, RG. So all clues point to Acteon...not Okean or anything else. smile.png


2. Bluebird pdd from Sleeping Beauty.

Independently, I heard from a scholar-author friend in St-P who confirms that YS' female partner in the latter was Makarova as Florine (although Makarova did not graduate until '59).

OK - I'll stop looking. Too much fun.

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