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: the birth of a photography pioneer

Louis_Daguerre_2 Portrait of Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) Father of Photography in 1844

Daguerre in 1844

Photography pioneer Louis Daguerre was born in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Val-d’Oise, France on the 18th of November, 1797. He became known as a father of photography after inventing the daguerreotype photography process.

Daguerreotype_Daguerre_Atelier_1837Still life with plaster casts, made by Daguerre in 1837, the earliest reliably dated daguerreotype photograph.

Daguerre’s 1837 photograph recreating a still life is the earliest daguerreotype with a reliable date.

Boulevard du Temple, Paris, c. 1838. Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre

Above is Daguerre’s circa 1838 image of Paris. It is the first known candid photograph of a person. A man having his boots polished stood still long enough to be captured.

Also a painter and the inventor of the diorama theatre, Daguerre died in Paris in July of 1851, at the age of sixty-three.

On this day: Bastille Day during a war

The commune of Courseulles-sur-Mer in Normandy, France was liberated early after the D-Day landings in 1944. It is believed to be the first town in the region to be freed.

On the 14th of July the same year, a Bastille Day service was held, with locals as well as Allied troops taking part.

British and American troops with locals at the ceremony at the War Memorial. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2000French, British and American troops join with local inhabitants of Courseulles-sur-Mer in the ceremony at the War Memorial

A brother and sister lay flowers. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2003

A local fireman holds the French Tricolour. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2001A local fireman holding the French Tricolour during the ceremony at the War Memorial to celebrate Bastille Day. Courseulles was

A British marine (left), who played the Last Post, stands with local children who wait to lay flowers at the service. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2006