On this day: Chopin in Warsaw

Odsłonięcie_pomnika_Fryderyka_Chopina_w_Warszawie_1926 Ceremony of unveiling of Frédéric Chopin monument in Warsaw on 14th November 1926

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14th November 1926: A ceremony is held in Warsaw, Poland to unveil the monument to composer Frédéric Chopin. Chopin was born near the Polish capital in 1810, dying in Paris in 1849.

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On this day…

#OnThisDay 11th October 1949 Ballet Dancer Margot Fonteyn at the opening performance at the Metropolitan Opera

English ballerina Margot Fonteyn, one of the only dancers in history to hold the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta, is seen here in a photograph dated the 11th of October, 1949.

Fonteyn was dancing the opening night performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

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.