Los Angeles

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Lost Variation for Alicia Markova

By Heather Toner

There are lots of times when I happen upon a ballet variation or a piece of dance I've never seen before and it makes me want to put on my pointe shoes and immediately start learning the choreography.  This variation is one of them.

This is just so much my style it's insane.  I was always cast in these kinds of parts when I was dancing - cute, allegro, soubrette- type parts, with a bit of humor thrown in.  If I was still workshopping variations, this would definitely be one I'd want to learn and perform.

Originally choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton on prima ballerina Alicia Markova back in 1934, here is "Foyer de la Danse" danced by Royal Ballet dancer Romany Pajdak.


I also wonder if the ballerina's starting pose and paused positions may be harkening to this Edgar Degas painting of the same name...


Perhaps this was part of Ashton's inspiration for the piece?  Perhaps not, I'm just speculating.  Still I love discovering old works from ballet's past...I know I sound like a total fuddy-duddy as I write this, but they sure don't make them like they used to...


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