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Subject: "Violetta Elvin" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Pete

09-05-01, 10:11 PM (GMT)
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"Violetta Elvin"
 
   LAST EDITED ON 09-05-01 AT 11:12 PM (GMT)

I would be extremely grateful of anyone who has any experience of Violetta Elvin, and from those in particular who are fortunate enough to have seen her dance. I know a brief history of her courtesy of this wonderful site (Cheers Bruce & colleagues!) but all the books I have feature her in her heyday as one of the (strikingly beautiful) leading principals during the 40s & 50s.
In 1985 I gather she had a short spell as Ballet Director with Teatro San Carlo but I can find no info after that period. Is she (God there is no easy way of phrasing this without sounding rude! ....) still 'with us' I would appreciate any feedback -thanks!


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Violetta Elvin Renee Renouf 10-05-01 1
     RE: Violetta Elvin Helen 10-05-01 2
         RE: Violetta Elvin timpow 10-05-01 3
             RE: Violetta Elvin Pete 10-05-01 4
                 RE: Violetta Elvin Michael LL 11-05-01 5
                     RE: Violetta Elvin Renee Renouf 11-05-01 6
                         RE: Violetta Elvin Helen 11-05-01 7

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Renee Renouf

10-05-01, 06:35 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #0
 
   She danced a memorable Fairy of the Crystal Fountain in the Sadler's Wells tour of 1950-51 in the U.S.. I saw her in it in Los Angeles, and her port de bras was utterly beguiling, more like vines swaying in the wind than water, although she was very fluid. It's a hellish part - an opener with the flashy variations following. Her interpretation has never been equalled or surpassed by other dancers in the variation.
I seem to recall having seen her also as the would-be temptress in the Ashton version of Daphnis and Chloe.
She had a very definite capacity for rubato in her torso, although she was not so very tall. She had a cloud of longish black hair and deep set eyes. I felt she never hit her full stride, partly because of the quality of the Wells/Royal at the time, partly because Dame Ninette's particular style of directing, and also because no one ever looked at her and decided what would look specifically good on her, and unique.
I cannot remember if she was part of Hommage to the Queen -- is that the name of the ballet Levasseur costumed for the seven ballerinas? I'm afraid beyond that my memory sort of peters out.
Oh, I think I remember a sinuous part for her in Teresias where she held one foot doing a supported attitude en arriere, and she
looked sexy and terrific.
With the right parts and framing she might well have been an early day Ananishvelli or however her name is spelled.


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Helen

10-05-01, 12:52 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #1
 
   I suspect you are thinking of Birthday Offering - that had seven ballerinas and costumes by Levasseur. And yes, Violetta Elvin was one of them.

She was one of my childhood heroines, though I'm afraid my memories of what I actually saw her in are hazy, too. She was Lykanion in Daphnis and Chloe, definitely. What I remember best is her dazzling beauty, and the fact that she was extremely nice to me when I asked for her autograph when I was about ten.

I know she went to Italy, but I don't know what happened to her after that.


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timpow

10-05-01, 01:12 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #2
 
   Violetta Elvin was in fact in the original cast of Homage to the Queen as Queen of the Waters.
She of striking beauty ands exuded true ballerina glamour. Like other dancers of the time she had somewhat restricted opportunities as Fonteyn was around and much favoured by Ashton. This state of affairs is still with us today.


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Pete

10-05-01, 05:20 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #3
 
   Thank you everyone for your comments.


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Michael LL

11-05-01, 04:12 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #4
 
   Birthday Offering gives a good idea of what exquisite Russian style Elvin must have possessed - her variation was 5th in the original run, and I think the best. Guillem chose it for her variation in the last revival. It is set to a slow waltz, is supremely elegant, with lovely swooping movements of the arms to the floor, includes ronds de jambes turns very like Gamzattis Bayadere variation, and finishes in a swan like pose on the floor. Jenny Penney used to dance it beautifully - it is interesting reading Renee comments, that in my ballet going experience, Jenny was the best Fairy of the Crystal Fountain I have ever seen. (Ashton is widely quoted as saying that he used to watch the Beauty prologue as often as possible, for a private lesson). I remember when Elvin came onstage at the 50th anniversary Beauty in 1996, blond and very elegant, she raised a gasp and huge applause from the audience, second only to Madam and Beryl Grey.


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Renee Renouf

11-05-01, 06:49 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #5
 
   How good to have my memories reinforced, amplified and corrected!
The thought of Elvin as blonde really boggles my mind, but it is
so reassuring that my memories remain fairly accurate! Hard to be certain sometimes - "Now did I really see that? Correctly???"


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Helen

11-05-01, 08:07 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Violetta Elvin"
In response to message #6
 
   Blonde? Horrible thought! Her hair was long, black and wavy. She would look very artificial as a blonde, I would think, however elegant.


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