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1950s & '60s NYCB publicity

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scans of three NYCB publicity photos sent for newspaper use in 1955, '63, & '67

the earliest of Adams is self-explanatory; she's shown costumed for Dew Drop in THE NUTCTRACKER.

the other two, esp. the one of d'Amboise is a little less clear with regard to the ballet as indicated by costuming.

the photo of Violette Verdy and Conrad Ludlow is most likely (TSCHAIKOVSKY) PAS DE DEUX, tho' the head-piece on Verdy is hard to make out - flowers? or ??

the photo of Jacques d'Amboise is more of a puzzle: perhaps it's PAS DE DEUX AND DIVERTISSEMENT a.k.a. LA SOURCE, or maybe it's from the ballet eventually called RAYMONDA VARIATIONS...






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Re: Verdy and Ludlow - the only oddity is the headpiece on Verdy for TSCHAIK PDD - Ludlow's costume looks familiar and so, really, does Verdy's. they were the first cast of this dance; over the years details chanced, her make-up for instance is very much of its time, ditto the odd looking headpiece which seems to have been doctored by a retoucher's brush, so it's really hard to make out and read. sprays of flowers are often part of the TSCHAK PDD ballerina's hair-ornament costuming.

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Yes, of course it's true they were the original cast (although it was originally to have been for Adams and D'Amboise--a fascinating tidbit,

as Balanchine never made a 'showpiece' pdd for Adams, sadly. Adams injured her foot/ankle, ergo it became Verdy's ballet.)

I think the costumes look familiar because they're fairly generic, LOL. The TPDD ballerina always wears something resembling that chiffon-y

flowing thing, but it still doesn't look right. Wasn't the flowers I was objecting to , as you said, rg, but the weird headpiece which REALLY

does not look like what Balanchine would have wanted in this ballet. (See Ashley's and Farrell's books for considerable discussion

of Balanchine's concern with ballerinas' headpieces.)The makeup is Sixties, yes (those eyes....!) but something about this is wrong for Tschaikovsky.

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The costume Verdy is wearing reminds me of the dress she wore in "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" in the filmed version they excerpted in the PBS Balanchine bio.

Ludlow looks very handsome in that photo.

The one of d'Amboise would make a great book cover or poster, lines and all. Looks like a Bauhaus- or Dutch school Leonardo man. Thanks for posting it.

I love the cross-lateral aspect, with the combination of energy and casualness.

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this from Violette Verdy in answer to my query about the publicity photo of her and Ludlow scanned and posted above.

so now at least we know those of us who suspected PAS DE DEUX TSCHAIKOVSKY were on the right path:


The Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux photo with Conrad and myself was taken very soon after the creation of it , and the flowers on my head were quite large !...They went from the front to all the way around the back of my head, leaving only the left side free from the decoration ...


again, the photo does have some retouching on the area of the headpiece.

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re: Dew Drop's costume, if mem. serves when Kistler was preparing to make her debut in the role, Balanchine was said to have asked that LeClercq's costume be brought out as possibly suitable for Kistler. Balanchine (and Karinska) made costume changes of this sort, that is, of the stiffer tutu look for a softer, skirted look, when it was thought better suited to dancers who followed those for whom the initial costuming was designed. LeClercq wore, if mem. serves, the version shown on Adams in the 50s.

and yes, Sylve is shown in the color photo above. she was just featured in Ratmansky's FROM FOREIGN LANDS at San Francisco Ballet over the past weekend.

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