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Photograph - Bronislava Nijinska
  • Bronislava Nijinska
    Vandamm, Florence, born 1883 - died 1966
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Bronislava Nijinska

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (photographed)

  • Date:


  • Artist/Maker:

    Vandamm, Florence, born 1883 - died 1966 (photographers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Photographic print mounted on board

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Bronislava Nijinska is shown in costume for Fairy Hummingbird of the Fairy of the Humming Birds in Serge Diaghilev's production of The Sleeping Princess for his Ballets Russes presented at the Alhambra Theatre, London 1921-22.
Cyril Beaumont described Nijninska's costume as being 'white patterned with red and black' with an additional train of red orange for her initial entry. All the fairies wore eight-pointed crowns, the Fairy of the Humming Birds having the additional antennae. Beaumont also described her variation (or solo) which she choreographed for herself and has come to be referred to as the 'finger variation'. 'She...moves with incredible speed. The tempo is continually accelerated while she dances faster and faster; her head jerks from side to side while the index finger of each hand is extended, withdrawn, pointed upwards and downwards, so that its path recalls the erratic monemewnt of a bird in swift flight.' (C. W. Beaumont Impressions of the Russian Ballet, 1921 The Sleeping Princess Part 1 London 1921 p.12)
The Sleeping Princess with Marius Petipa's choreography staged by Nicolas Serguyev and additional choreography by Bronislava Nijinska, designed by Leon Bakst to music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was mounted for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Alhambra Theatre, London on 2 November 1921.

Physical description

Portrait of a woman in theatrical costume. The photograph shows her side view but with her head turned to the camera. She wears a wig with ringlets on which is placed an elaborate crown with extending antennae and wears elaborate make-up. The strap of her costume on the shoulder of which is a flower falls down her arm and the decoration of birds can be seen on her skirt.
The mount is signed in pencil by the photographer and signed, dedicated to Cyril Beaumont and dated 1922 by Bronislava Nijinska

Place of Origin

London (photographed)




Vandamm, Florence, born 1883 - died 1966 (photographers)

Materials and Techniques

Photographic print mounted on board


Height: 19.3 cm photographic print, Width: 14 cm width of photographic print, Height: 32 cm height of mount, Width: 19.5 cm width of mount

Descriptive line

Photographic portrait of Bronislava Nijinska as the Fairy Hummingbird from the ballet The Sleeping Princess taken by Florence Vandamm. London, 1921


Photographic paper; Mounting board




Entertainment & Leisure; Dance; Fairy Tales and Legends; Photographs


Theatre and Performance Collection

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