On this day…

People magazine cover from the 1st of April, 1985. Featured are English actress Jacqueline Bisset and her then partner Alexander Godunov. Godunov was a Soviet ballet star who defected in the late 1970s, becoming a featured actor in Hollywood until his shock death a decade after this picture was taken.

Alexander Godunov People 21st April 1985 Cover

On this day: the premiere of Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet as it was intended to be: Gable and Seymour in the roles created for them, in a 1965 performance.

Kenneth Macmillan’s acclaimed ballet version of Romeo and Juliet premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 9th of February, 1965.

Even though the ballet had been specifically created for Christopher Gable and Lynn Seymour, the intervention of Russian-American tour organiser Sol Hurok meant they were not allowed to dance first cast in the lead roles.

Instead, Gable and Seymour, critically acclaimed dancers who had personal input into the choreography, were forced to teach their roles to Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, who would also go on to feature in the video recording of the ballet.

In further controversy, choreographer John Cranko, whose earlier production of the ballet is eerily similar to Macmillan’s version in a number of scenes, was said to be horrified by what he saw as plagiarism of his work.

On this day…

The Nutcracker ballet, in a photograph dated the 11th of December, 1966. The Snow Queen and Snow King are played by Jiji Jahrig and Charlie Putman, and the Snowflakes are Sherry Darmopray, Christy Darmopray and Linda Vigil. The picture comes from The Denver Post.

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DEC 5 1966, DEC 11 1966; Charlie Putman and Jiji Jahrig appear as the Snow King and Snow Queen and d

On this day…

The Australian Women’s Weekly ran a feature on a ballet production of Anna Karenina on the 17th of October, 1979.

Featured is ballerina Marilyn Rowe, who would go on to run The Australian Ballet School from 1998 to 2014.

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The costume in the main picture is one we hired for a production of Robert Ray’s Cinderella in 1992 (in the image below).

It was worn by one of the “ugly sisters” – a little bit of a change from its original purpose!

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On this day: the death of Mia Slavenska

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Born in Austria-Hungary (now Croatia) in 1916, world-famous ballerina Mia Slavenska died on the 5th of October, 2002.

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Originally named Mia Čorak, she trained in Zagreb and became a star at their Opera House at the age of seventeen. She toured internationally and then later moved to the United States when World War Two began.