Alexandra Danilova in Neoclassical Ballet Appolon Musagète (1928)

Apollo (originally Apollon musagète and variously known as Apollo musagetes, Apolo Musageta, and Apollo, Leader of the Muses) is a neoclassical ballet in two tableaux composed between 1927 and 1928 by Igor Stravinsky. It was choreographed in 1928 by twenty-four-year-old George Balanchine, with the composer contributing the libretto. The scenery and costumes were designed by André Bauchant, with new costumes by Coco Chanel in 1929.

The scenario involved the birth of Apollo, his interactions with the three Muses, Calliope (poetry), Polyhymnia (mime) and Terpsichore (dance and song), and his ascent as a god to Mount Parnassus. The original cast included Serge Lifar as Apollo, Alice Nikitina as Terpsichore (alternating with Alexandra Danilova), Lubov Tchernicheva as Calliope, Felia Doubrovska as Polyhymnia and Sophie Orlova as Leto, mother of Apollo.

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Alexandra Danilova in Appolon Musagète, 1928 via

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Alexandra Danilova and Serge Lifar in Appolon Musagète, 1928 via

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Alexandra Danilova and Serge Lifar in Appolon Musagète, 1928 via

Actress Lina Basquette Practicing Her Steps 28 Floors Up (1920s)

Lina Basquette ( 1907 – 1994) was an American actress noted for her 75-year career in entertainment, which began during the silent film era.

Talented as a dancer, she was paid as a girl for performing and gained her first film contract at age nine. In her acting career, Basquette may have been best known for her role as Judith in The Godless Girl (1929) The film was based on the life of Queen Silver, known as a 20th-century child prodigy, and feminist and Socialist activist.

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 Lina Basquette, practicing her steps 28 floors up on the roof of the Hotel Commodore (ca. 1920s) via

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 Lina Basquette, practicing her steps 28 floors up on the roof of the Hotel Commodore (ca. 1920s) via

Portraits of the Legendary Ballerina Marie Taglioni (1804-1884)

Marie Taglioni (1804 – 1884) was an Italian/Swedish ballet dancer of the Romantic ballet era, a central figure in the history of European dance. Her fragile, delicate dancing typified the early 19th-century Romantic style. She became one of the first women to dance on the extreme tips, or points, of the toes; she created a new style marked by floating leaps, such balanced poses as the arabesque, and a delicate, restrained use of the points.

Trained chiefly by her father, Filippo Taglioni, she made her debut in Vienna in 1822. In her father’s ballet La Sylphide, introduced at the Paris Opéra, March 12, 1832.

In the performance of La Sylphide Taglioni was also known for shortening her skirt, which was considered highly scandalous at the time. The diaphanous dress she wore, with its fitted bodice and airy, bell-like skirt, was the prototype of the tutu. She shortened all of her skirts to show off her excellent pointe work, which the long skirts hid. Her father was approving of the shortening of the skirt because he also wanted everyone to see how good his daughter was en pointe.

In London Taglioni commanded £100 a performance and she filled the St. Petersburg Bolshoi Theatre to capacity when she played in La Sylphide. The Russians loved her so much that they named cakes and caramels after her. A group of her fans even ate a pair of her ballet shoes after her last performance in 1842. These were cooked, garnished, and served with a special sauce so one hopes that they tasted good! – See more at: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/heroes-villains/marie-taglioni.asp#sthash.zwYUhCJE.dpuf

Not only did she have Paris at her feet but audiences in London, Milan, Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburg hailed her as one of the greatest dancers ballet had ever produced.

In London Taglioni commanded £100 a performance and she filled the St. Petersburg Bolshoi Theatre to capacity when she played in La Sylphide. The Russians loved her so much that they named cakes and caramels after her. A group of her fans even ate a pair of her ballet shoes after her last performance in 1842. These were cooked, garnished, and served with a special sauce (Source).

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Maria Taglioni in “La Sylphide”, © Bettmann/CORBIS via

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Marie Taglioni by Richard James Lane, printed by Graf & Soret, published by Rudolph Ackermann Jr lithograph, circa 1825-1850 25 1/8 in. x 18 3/4 in. (638 mm x 475 mm) paper size Given by Austin Lane Poole, 1956 © National Portrait Gallery, London via

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Marie Taglioni by Richard James Lane, printed by M & N Hanhart, after Alfred Edward Chalon lithograph, 1845 21 1/2 in. x 15 in. (545 mm x 382 mm) paper size Given by Austin Lane Poole, © National Portrait Gallery, London, 1956 via

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Marie Taglioni by Richard James Lane, printed by M & N Hanhart, after Alfred Edward Chalon lithograph, 1845 21 1/2 in. x 15 in. (545 mm x 382 mm) paper size Given by Austin Lane Poole, © National Portrait Gallery, London, 1956 via