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British Council film containing a short ballet by Andree Howard


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I have just received an e-mail from English National Ballet which contains a link to a 1948 British Council film, where Helpmann 'explains' ballet steps while dancers prepare and then rehearse and dance a short ballet by Andree Howard.  Lead dancers are Alexander Grant and Gerd Larsen, and among the supporting men is Peter Wright.  It is the most wonderful chance to see how much technique has changed!

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I wonder who the dancers were?  Any ideas?  Gosh yes technique has indeed changed - especially the men - pirouettes with feet round their ankles, double tours landing any old way - and the ladies' arabesques left much to be desired!!!!!  And then just 8 short years later the Bolshoi came to London for the first time and revolutionised ballet technique. As a little girl my parents took me to see three performances of the Bolshoi - my Dad queued most of the box office opening day and bought good tickets in the Grand Tier and Stalls Circle.  Those performances made such an impression on me that I wrote to Ulanova and told her so (and invited her to tea!!!!)  .  The point is that I thought that I would probably be disappointed if I saw the same performance today, but they issued a DVD of the Bolshoi from that period and Ulanova was indeed as brilliant as I remembered her, and  Raissa Struchkova too.  Just amazing!

Edited by Dance*is*life
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