Sixty Years Ago: a Ballet Rehearsal in Amsterdam

Het_pas_opgerichte_Nieuwe_Amsterdams_Ballet_oefent_onde_leiding_van_Mascha_ter_W,_Bestanddeelnr_910-6980The newly established New Amsterdam Ballet in rehearsal under the direction of Mas

The newly established New Amsterdam Ballet in rehearsal under the direction of Mascha ter Weeme. 24th September 1959.

Two years later the company would merge with Nederlands Ballet to form today’s Dutch National Ballet, directed by Sonia Gaskell until 1969.

On this day: a Communist Ballet in China

ScenefromtheChineseChinaTheRedDetachmentofWomenballetwitnessedbyPresidentandMrsNixonintheGreatHallofthePeople ballet

US President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 resulted in significant changes in relations between the two countries.

During the visit, Nixon and his wife attended a performance of the communist ballet Red Detachment of Women. The ballet, based on a 1961 film of the same name, which itself was based on a book, was staged on the 22nd of February, 1972.

Red Detachment of Women, one of only a few ballets permitted in China during the Cultural Revolution, is still in the repertoire of the National Ballet of China.

The Nutcracker, 1950s.

This 1950s image shows dancers of the Borovansky Ballet in the snow scene from The Nutcracker. The company, created by Czech immigrant Edouard Borovansky and his wife Xenia in the 1940s, was used as the basis for The Australian Ballet, which was founded in 1962.

From the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

The Nutcracker Snow Scene 1950s Christmas Czech- born Australian ballet dancer, choreographer and director. AHe and his wife settled in Australia where they established the Borovansky Ba

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.

Sixty Years Ago: British Ballet in Australia

10th September 1958: New Zealand-born ballerina Rowena Jackson stars in a (British) Royal Ballet performance of Swan Lake at the Empire Theatre in Sydney, Australia.

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.