Sunday, September 14, 2008

Frederick Ashton (1904-1988)

When I was a kid living in London, I remember seeing Frederick Ashton as one of the Ugly Sisters in the Royal Ballet's 'Cinderella'.

I recall two things vividly.

The first was the psychologically complex characterization: the warm, teasing, self-centred, loving, vain, vulnerable, shy, sly, nervous ... monster! In comparison with Robert Helpmann's much more broad-brush-stroke panto creation - as the other sibling. Some of all this is captured in the following photos:

The second occurred at the Ball. Each sister was vie-ing for the tall handsome prince as partner, as opposed to the other short ordinary-looking one. Of course Helpmann's tough and go-getting sister wins out. But then cunningly and placatingly whispers something in her gentler sister's ear - drawing a surreptitious but long glance at the diminutive prince's crotch. With a slow lascivious smile spreading over her face!

After the performance, I was introduced to Ashton and asked him to sign a book I'd just been given about his choreography.

Without being able to think just what to say to such a young person, Ashton gently declared that it was raining outside and my book would need a mackintosh (raincoat) to get it home safely.
Royal Danish Ballet - Ellen Price (1878-1968) in the Opening Solo of 'La Sylphide' (1903)

Elle Price despite what her name suggests was a Danish ballerina. More information about her life and dancing can be found at:

Royal Danish Ballet (1906) - Valborg Borchsenius (1872-1949) in 'Zigeunerdansen fra Troubadouren'

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Royal Danish Ballet (May 1903) - Valborg Borchsenius (1872-1949) and Hans Beck (1861-1951) in 'Napoli'

Valborg Borchsenius et Hans Beck - 1900

Royal Danish Ballet (1902) - Clara Rasmussen and Margrethe Andersen

Friday, September 12, 2008

Anna Pavlova in an Unidentified Ballet in the 1920s

Anna Pavlova - 'The Fairy Doll' (1927) Part 2

This is the second part of the sequence of Anna Pavlova dancing in 'The Fairy Doll' in 1927.

Anna Pavlova - 'The Fairy Doll' (1927) Part 1

Anna Pavlova in her dressing room - 1920s

This is the first of two parts of Anna Pavlova in 'The Fairy Doll' (1927).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Anna Pavlova - 'Californian Poppy'

Anna Pavlova dancing in 'Californian Poppy' sometime in the 1920's.

The costume very literally realizes the name of the ballet in its 'petals'.

Tamara Karsavina - More of the c1920 Kirov Class - the Battements and Jettes!

Some more of the footage of Karsavina's c1920 class at the Kirov Theatre.

The battements ...

and the jetes

Hope some more turns up!