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A Trip to the Moon

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    1883 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:

    S.194-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Snow Ballet was the spectacular finale of Act III in the comic opera with music by Offenbach A Trip To The Moon,choreographed by Henri Justamant and premiered in Paris on 28 October 1875 at the Gaieté theatre. It was first seen in England in an English version by Henry Leigh, at the Alhambra Theatre in 1876, with choreography again by Justamant. It was revived at Her Majesty's Theatre in March 1883 with choreography by Aimé Bertrand, probably drawing heavily on the original. Set in a snowy glen, it starred the 'premiere danceuse assoluta' Mlle. Consuela de la Brujere as Anea the Flying Dove, with Mlles Gerrish, Hemmings, Patti and Sismondi as the Four Swallows. Mlles. Sampietro, Powell and Theodora de Gillert were also billed as 'premieres danseuses'.

The operetta was loosely based on Jules Verne's humorous science fiction novel From The Earth To The Moon.Lionel Rignold starred as King Cosmos, with other favourite stars of the day including Fannie Leslie as Prince Caprice and Letty Lind as Phebe.

Anea the Flying Dove was an innovative aerial dancer who, with her husband the machinist Dando, developed the means to flit above the stage in all directions, rather than just from side to side. It was said she: 'seemed to swim in ether, and she descended feather-like to the uncomplaining ground.'

Physical description

The corps de ballet and principal dancers are depicted on stage in 'The Snow Ballet' against the wintery, mountainous background billed in the theatre programme as 'Scene 4. A Snowy Glen.' The corps de ballet are wearing white tutus and hold white 'snow hoops' above their heads, while four dancers in the foreground are dressed as swallows, in burlesque-style corset costumes with black wings and 'tails' and red muffs. Two other dancers wear white corset-type costumes with red panels at the front and white wings. One of those, billed as Aenea the Flying Dove, is depicted in the sky, her arms outstretched, being flown on wires.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (printed)

Date

1883 (printed)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph on paper

Dimensions

Height: 29.2 cm, Width: 46.7 cm

Descriptive line

The Grand Snow Ballet from Act III of Jacques Offenbach's A Trip to the Moon, Her Majesty's Theatre, March 1883

Materials

Printing ink; Paper

Techniques

Colour lithograph

Subjects depicted

Mountains; Snow; Ballet dancers; Birds; Swallow

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Prints

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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