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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Movies: silent movies with ballet

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has anyone come across any old, old silent ballet films, like clips or performances of some kind? I read the book On Pointe and it was all about the history of the pointe form of ballet.it mentioned a couple of times some early pointe progressions in silent movies, including some w/ ana pavlova. any info would help

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There are bits and pieces of Pavlova and others of the celluloid era on film, but they are largely fragmentary, and hard to interpret, given the rudimetary nature of film in those days. Kchessinska wrote of Pavlova, "No turnout at all, poor little thing!" And in the films, you can see she was right, but there's enough to tell that she had something else! Worse, the celluloid they were filmed on has often gone to deterioration by the natural progression of the degradation of cellulose nitrate! It changes into nitroglycerin. Now that's dancing that's literally "da bomb!" Pavlova and Laurent Novikoff filmed her cut-down version of Don Quixote, but time has turned almost all of it to ruin.

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