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Baryshnikov's SWAN LAKE for ABT from 1988

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oddly when he notes casts he calls the leading ballerina only Queen of the Swans, Kshessinska or Karsavina for instance, and makes no particular mention of Odile, tho' we know from reports, Svetlov's, for ex., that Trefilova (and Kshessinska) did Odile complete with fouette turns.

and yes, it would seem that pre-revolution photos of dancers in the role of Odile are scarce to put it mildly.

Andrew Foster's Karsavina book has some pre-1917 photos of the ballerina as Odette but not Odile. those of her Odile, in the same mode as the one posted above and that appear toward the end of his book date from 1918, and even these seem rarities.

re: Doubrovska's connection to SWAN LAKE, the entry on her in The International Dictionary of Ballet lists her in the role of Odette for SWAN LAKE, ACT 2 but doesn't list anywhere that she danced a full production as Odette/Odile.

If the tradition of placing only one ballerina to dance both O/O roles came after a while, I suppose I can take a wild guess at thinking that maybe the ballerina assigned to the role of Odile was seeing just as a brief appearance...one short technically demanding PDD probably given to a gifted dancer that otherwise was not well suited dramatically for grander roles-(Vaganova-type perhaps?). Considering that she just danced a few minutes in a very long ballet with countless stage appearances for the "Queen of the Swans", it couldn't pose no danger for the stardom of the main ballerina. Also, no too many pictures are also of dancers who were given different soloist parts in the XIX century productions.

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re: the one- or two-ballerina tradition for SWAN LAKE and its Odette & Odile roles, the latter, two-ballerina variant comes subsequent to the1877 start of SL history, and then only on rather isolated occasions..

Beaumont says a second Grosky production, in 1920, following one from '01 where he used one ballerina for O/O, initially Adelna Giuri, split the roles for two different dancers.

It's for the '20 prod. that Beaumont writes: "Originally, it was intended that both Odette and Odile should wear large swan's wings which the dancers would agitate while dancing, but these were found impractical and discarded after a dress rehearsal." sketches Dyachkov of costumes with wings in Demidov, annotated as showing Odette in the second act, and Odile in both the SECOND! and third acts, are a puzzle, while Odile slated for the second act (as background figure with Rothbart?) is in costuming colored in reds, blacks, and greens, for the third act she's in a low waisted chemise of green and rose with white swan wings and medieval headdress topped by coronet. Odette for the second act is in all white, with similar wings and with a large emerald on her bodice and smaller ones around her waist. with evident intentions for putting both Odette and Odile in the second act, two ballerinas would be required. Beaumont reports that for this staging Gorsky cast the newly graduated E. M. Ilushenko, while the more seasoned and well known M. P. Reisen danced Odile.

then, o'course, there was Vaganova's 'updated' '34 staging, but essentially O/O was a one ballerina role.

the first performances in the America, on a 1911 tour led by Mordkin and Geltser had Geltser dancing O/O at some performances and Julie Sedova at others.

regardless, whether given by the same ballerina dancing Odette, or a separate one, Odile is rarely pictured in archival illustrations.

as for solo roles in the ballet, certainly these are not as plentiful as pictures of ballerinas costumed for Odette, but photos of the divertissement dancers, and even of random soloist swan maidens - i have some of these, Alexandra Baldina, for ex. among others - exist in limited numbers.

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