Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Le Baiser de la fée - costuming


Recommended Posts

Hi there all,


I am currently learning the female variation from Ashton's 1935 "Le Baiser de la fée" for a ballet competition next year. We only have one video of this variation (A girl coached by Margot Fonteyn; who the piece was created on) and she is wearing a large pink bow in her hair, a pale pink, plain leotard and a long chiffon skirt.


Has anyone else seen this variation perfomed, or know of the correct costuming for it? I know it is not a common variation, but I want it to be as correct as possible!


Any information people have would be an amazing help, thanks!

Link to comment

For the fairy: Fairy & Bridegroom


For the fiance: Fiance 1


or Fiance 2


Here is a link to the story with what appears to be the original rendering for the fairy headpiece: BRB


Here is a review with pictures of the bride: Bride


While I haven't found any attributed to Ashton, it appears that most productions are following the original: "Le Baiser de la fée (The Fairy's Kiss) came about as a result of an invitation she extended to Stravinsky in December 1927, proposing a ballet to be based on music by Tchaikovsky. She knew her man. Stravinsky, who remembered that once, as a boy, he had glimpsed the great composer at the Mariinsky Theatre, venerated Tchaikovsky, and had orchestrated missing parts of The Sleeping Beauty for Diagilev's presentation in 1921. Drawing now on songs and piano pieces by his great predecessor ­ as well as on his ability to imitate Tchaikovsky's manner and to work from within a joint personality, Tchaivinsky ­ he created the 45 minute score between July and October 1928.


The first performance took place at the Paris Opera on 27 November, with Rubinstein as the Fairy, in a production to which two other old Diaghilev hands contributed: the choreographer Bronislava Nijinska (sister of the famous dancer), who had been responsible for the first stagings of Stravinsky's Renard and Les Noces, and the designer Alexandre Benois, who had worked on the scenario and designs of Petrushka." -from BRB's website

Link to comment

There was a version of "Baiser de la Fée" made by Ashton in 1935 for the Vic-Wells Ballet, but it was not much liked, including by Ashton himself. I believe Fonteyn was the Fiancée. There were plans to revive it, but Ashton couldn't remember enough of it to stage, and didn't have time to devise new (La Fille mal Gardée was occupying him). The project was assigned therefore to Kenneth MacMillan in 1960.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

I have a Royal Ballet book, an old one, with a photo of Pearl Argyle as the Fairy in the 1935 production. It is a VERY odd looking costume, kind of hard to figure out because the photo is not in color.

Link to comment

Wow thank-you for all of that great information and Clara, for the pictures!


I am doing the Finaces variation, which was created for Margot Fonteyn. Ashtons Choreography for the piece just suits my style of dancing so well but I have been trying to research it to get a better understanding of the story.


This morning I have been reading through some of my great grandmothers old dancing notebooks and found a costume description for the 2nd fiancee and a picture. It turns out that she has taught this variation to one of her students in the late 1930's in Scotland - she saw the ballet at the vic wells in 1935.


My other variation is Kitri, so I am hoping they will offer enough contrast!

Link to comment

How wonderful that you discovered this is your grandma's jourrnal!!!


I love things like this because it really lends such depth to the art of ballet!

Link to comment

It does! I am very lucky to have a family history which is filled with dance!


My great grandmother was also a recipient of a QSM (Queens service medal) for service to dance and my grandmothers ballet teacher was one of cecchetti's students, dance has always been apart of my life and hopefully will continue to be for a very long time =)

Link to comment

I'm certain that it will always be a part of you!!!!!

Link to comment

I saw Birmingham Royal Ballet do it a couple of years ago - try looking at their website for photos (I can't remember what that character wore - I was too busy thinking how to make a costume like the fairies' ones for my daughter - never happened in the end...)

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...