On this day: Ballet in France

Dancers of the ballet company of the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse in France, on the staircase of the theatre on the 23rd of September, 1970.

23_09_1970__Corps_de_ballet__(1970)_-_53Fi4091Théâtre du Capitole. Le 23 Septembre 1970. Vue d'un corps de ballet dans l'escalier du théâtre du Capitole.Ballet du Théâtre du Capito

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R.I.P. Errol Pickford

Errol Pickford as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet © Leslie Spatt Royal Ballet Royal Opera House

As Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. X

The weekend brought news of the death of Australian-born star of Britain’s Royal Ballet, Errol Pickford. After years in London he moved back to Perth to dance with the West Australian Ballet.

He was only fifty-one at the time of his death.

Errol Pickford as The Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty © Leslie Spatt Royal Ballet Royal Opera House

As the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty.

Pickford was known for his powerful dancing, and was famous for his performances in The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote.

On this day: the Bolshoi Ballet in Amsterdam

Anefo_911-3243_Aankomst_solisten9 June 1960 Bolshoi Ballet in Amsterdam 9th June 1960 USSR Soviet Union Vintage

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Anefo_911-3243_Aankomst_solisten9 June 1960 Bolshoi Ballet in Amsterdam 9th June 1960 USSR Soviet Union Vintage.

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These images were taken in Amsterdam on the 9th of June, 1960. The Bolshoi Ballet arrives in the Netherlands for an international tour.

The Soviets believed nobody could surpass them in the arts, however dancers of the Bolshoi (Moscow) and Kirov (Saint Petersburg) companies were not always allowed to leave the USSR. Some dancers defected, while others were considered unsuitable, such as superstar Maya Plisetskaya, a Lithuanian Jew whose family faced heavy persecution in Russia.

On this day: American Ballet Theatre

time-kirk Time Magazine Gelsey Kirkland American Ballet Theatre 1sy May 1978

Gelsey Kirkland, star of American Ballet Theatre, is seen here as Kitri in Don Quixote on the cover of TIME Magazine on the 1st of May, 1978. Kirkland, whose professional career began with New York City Ballet at only fifteen, moved to ABT in 1974, where she found fame dancing with Soviet ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov.

On this day: a Ballet Premiere

Michaël Denard (James) et Ghislaine Thesmar (La Sylphide) entourés des « filles de l_air » lors du tournage du ballet en 1971 © Francette Levieux OnP

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The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.

As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.

This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.

On this day: A new generation of ballet stars

Photograph caption dated March 2, 1986 reads, The new generation of ABT dancers (from left) Gil Boggs, Amanda McKerrow, John Turjoman and Bonnie Moore. American Ballet Theatre

This photograph, dated the 2nd of March, 1986, was released to the media to introduce “the new generation of American Ballet Theatre stars”.

Pictured are Gil Boggs, Amanda McKerrow, John Turjoman and Bonnie Moore.

A 1985 interview with Turjoman and Moore, where they discuss interpreting Romeo and Juliet as very young dancers, can be read HERE.

McKerrow went on to be known as one of the greatest ballerinas in the history of ABT.

On this day: Ballet in 1956

The Borovansky Ballet, an Australian company that was a pioneer for major dance companies in the country today, as featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly on the 8th of February, 1956. The images are from their production of The Nutcracker.
Borovansky Ballet's Nutcracker published in The Australian Women_s Weekly 8th February 1956.