Finding Nijinsky in NYC

The surprisingly successful failure   Over the next month I am planning on following and researching (in a very small way) the route of the supposedly ill-fated Ballets Russes USA tour of 1916. This tour was led by Nijinsky and has often been deemed a failure, as has the première of his last ballet Till… Continue reading Finding Nijinsky in NYC

Summer at the Pillow

One week ago the 85th season at Jacob's Pillow, in woods of Massachusetts, came to a close. The last event of the action packed 10 weeks was a film screening of Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature and a Q&A with the great dancer herself - by 7 o'clock it was all over. That evening the production… Continue reading Summer at the Pillow

Finding the Ballets Russes in NYC – Part Two.

At the New York Historical Society you can now see, on permanent display, what is surely the biggest Picasso in NYC! The canvas was once the front cloth for Le Tricorne, from 1919, designed by Picasso, and shows a traditional corrida scene. In 1928 Diaghilev cut the middle section cut out of the cloth and sold it… Continue reading Finding the Ballets Russes in NYC – Part Two.

Fokine Ballet Summer Camp

This time I swear I wasn't looking for ballet! I spent the last weekend in the gorgeous town of  Lenox, Massachusetts. This area was the hugely popular during the so called 'Gilded Age' and is full of beautiful estates called 'cottages'. I went to visited the gorgeous Ventfort Hall - built for Sarah Morgan. https://www.gildedage.org/… Continue reading Fokine Ballet Summer Camp

Ballets Russes Google Doodle

Yesterday marked the 145th birthday of Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev - to celebrate this Google created a doodle in his honour. Without Diaghilev the arts and in particular ballet would be very different. The Ballets Russes was the most significant artistic enterprise of the C20th and it was led by the indomitable figure of Diaghilev.… Continue reading Ballets Russes Google Doodle

What started it all …

The Ballets Russes, and in particular their costumes, have been my passion since I was 15 years old and found an old exhibition catalogue in a second-hand bookshop. The catalogue was from the National Gallery of Australia's 1999 exhibition, From Russia with Love, and contained a picture of this costume for a knight from the 1910 production of Firebird. I… Continue reading What started it all …

A swan song …

Anna Pavlova, b. 1881 - d. 1931 was most famous for her performance of the divertissement The Swan or The Dying Swan. The elaborate feathered tutu she wore has  always fascinated me - How was it made? Does it survive? Several years ago I began working as a volunteer at the Museum of London which houses, amongst its vast collection,… Continue reading A swan song …

Ballet Dolls

Since I was a teenager I have loved the idea of the making dolls dressed as characters from famous ballets. Last year I began making a small range of dolls and characters which I sell through my etsy shop, I also take custom orders: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheRedShoesVintage?ref=hdr_shop_menu    

History at the Hammond

I am currently working as researcher and historian for The Hammond Performing Arts School in Chester, UK. In 2017 the school is set to celebrate 100 years since it's founder Miss Irene Hammond came to Chester. My role is to research the history of the school and  Hoole Bank House (where the school is now housed). I… Continue reading History at the Hammond

Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet

The 1950s saw an explosion of all things ballet in popular culture. One of the most prominent artists was Carlotta Edwards (1894 - 1977). Edwards was the daughter of the French painter Ferdinand Pourrier. Her ballet scenes once graced the bedrooms of little girls (and big) all over England but were very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Edwards appears to have… Continue reading Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet