February 2011 Discovery: Jane Pritchard, curator of the Ballet Russes exhibition at the V&A, and Susan Eastwood, a member of the London Ballet Circle, have confirmed that this short clip is rare footage of the Ballet Russes.
Specifically, the June 1928 festival 'Fetes de Narcisses' in Montreaux, Switzerland.
The clip shows the dancer Serge Lifar, playing the lead role in a female wig. The performance is of Les Sylphides, one of the most popular pieces in the Ballet Russes repertory.
- Original Canister Note: Festival of Narcissus.
- Location of events unknown.
- Location unknown; but obviously in a mountainous area.
- Issue Date:1920 – 1929
- Sound: Silent
- Time in: 01:47:50:00
- Time out: 01:48:52:00
- Canister: ON 319 E
- Film ID: 2406.13
- Sort number: ON 319 E
- Tape: *PM2406*
Scenic opening shot; looking over treetops; town beyond below in valley and mountains in distance; pan down trees to stage in park; w/ ivy-covered backing. Ballet dancers perform on stage. One female dancer (representing Narcissus?) w/ chorus of female dancers; ballerinas who pose while the male soloist dances.
Shot of audience in steeply tiered seating. Then; shot looking down at procession w/ elaborate float. Ground level shot of same: float w/ huge white birds pulling a carriage w/ young girls riding & tossing confetti at crowd; like carnival. Another shot looking down at crowd. www.britishpathe.com
FESTIVAL OF NARCISSUS
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Ballet Russes exhibition at the V&A – www.britishpathe.com
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