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107. DANCES FOR SIR OSWALD STOLL'S VARIETY SHOWS



Choreography: By George Balanchine.

A NOVEL INTERPRETATION OF LIEBESTRAUM: Music: By Franz Liszt Liebestraum, ca. 1850). Production: Costumes by Hedley Briggs. Scenery by Frederick Stafford. Premiere: February 16, 1931, Sir Oswald Stoll's Variety Shows, Coliseum, London. Cast: 16 women. Note: LIEBESTRAUM appears on programs for the weeks beginning February 16, 23, and March 2, along with 'other dances produced by George Balanchine (Director of Serge Diaghileff's Russian Ballet).'The Coliseum was distinguished by having 'the finest revolving stage in the world.' In his setting of LIEBESTRAUM, Balanchine used the stage as a giant phonograph record, with a small dog in the center as 'His Master's Voice,' and the women as phonograph needles. See 100

A WALTZ FANTASY IN BLUE: Music: By Mikhail Glinka (Valse Fantaisie in B minor, 1839; orchestrated 1856). Premiere: March 9, 1931, Sir Oswald Stoll's Variety Shows, Coliseum. Cast: Doris Sonne, corps de ballet. Note: Balanchine choreographed works to this music in 1953 (Valse Fantaisie), and 1967 (as section of Glinkiana, soon after performed alone as Valse Fantaisie), both for the New York City Ballet. See 293, 359, 366

A SKIT ON MARLENE DIETRICH IN THE FILM 'THE BLUE ANGEL': Music: By Sammy Lerner and Frederick Hollander ('Falling in Love Again' from The Blue Angel, 1930). Premiere: March 9, 1931, Sir Oswald Stoll's Variety Shows, Coliseum. Cast: 6-8 women.

STATUES: Music: By Felix Mendelssohn (one of the Songs without Words). Production: Produced by Sir Oswald Stoll. Premiere: April ?, 1931, Varieties en Fête, Alhambra, London. Cast: Hedley Briggs, Dorothy Jackson, Anna Roth.

PAPILLONS: Music: Perhaps by Frédéric Chopin (possibly the 'Butterfly' Étude in G-flat major, Op. 25, no. 9, 1832-34). Production: Produced by Sir Oswald Stoll. Premiere: April ?, 1931, Varieties en Fête, Alhambra. Cast: Sonne, Natasha Gregorova, Maria Gaya, corps de ballet. Note: Sonne remembers a pas de six to this étude, which may be Papillons, or (as the program does not specify music) a separate work.

DIE FLEDERMAUS: Music: By Johann Strauss the Younger (overture to Die Fledermaus, produced 1874). Production: Produced by Sir Oswald Stoll. Premiere: May 18, 1931, Varieties en Fête, Alhambra. Cast: Bat, Sonne; Pas de Deux: Jackson, Briggs; corps de ballet. See 169, 199, 206, 294

Note: In addition to these works documented from programs of Sir Oswald Stoll's variety shows at the London Coliseum (February 16- March 21) and Alhambra (April 6-May 30), reviews and conversations with dancers identify the following: Tango (Sonne and Briggs); Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee (Gregorova, Sonne, Gaya); can-can from Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers for a corps of girls in front of the curtain; a short jazz number for four women to the recorded music of Jack Hilton and His Dance Orchestra, performed in front of the curtain; an ensemble number to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture; a pas de deux for Briggs and Betty Scorer to Lord Berners' Scottish Rhapsody; and a 'futuristic Scottish-American reel' for a group. Mention is made of the 'Balanchine
Girls . . .dancing to the strains of modern foxtrots and later to Borodin's Nocturne.' Publicity material suggests that costumes were designed by Hedley Briggs and scenery by Frederick Stafford, but Natasha Gregorova remembered that Barbara Karinska was also involved with costuming. Dennis Stoll (son of Sir Oswald) conducted some of the performances. Balanchine's group of sixteen women (Hedley Briggs was the single male performer) was variously billed as the Balanchine Ballet, Balanchine's Girls, Balanchine's Sixteen Novelty Dancers, George Balanchine's Sixteen Delightful Dancers, and 16 Delightful Balanchine Girls 16.

See also: 109  

Source notes:    show...
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