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It isn’t often that an archivist gets public recognition for her work, so double cheers to Jane Pritchard for being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours lists for 2014. Pritchard, who is currently the Curator of Dance for the Theatre & Performance Collections, Victoria & Albert Museum, previously served as archivist for Rambert Dance Company, English National Ballet, and the Contemporary Dance Trust. She also is the author of a recent book on Anna Pavlova and organized the colossal Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes exhibition at the Victoria & Albert (2010) and the National Gallery of Art (2013).

In another nod to the past, you can read her article on the Diaghilev exhibition in the Winter 2010/2011 issue of Performance!.

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A. Gardel postcard for Fête du Narcisse in Montreux, Switzerland (1928)

In what makes an interesting side note and a nice addendum to the article on the Diaghilev exhibition in the Winter issue of Performance!, history was made recently when the first known film of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company was identified by Victoria & Albert Museum Dance Curator, Jane Pritchard, after she was directed to it by Susan Eastwood of the London Ballet Circle.  The 1928 festival footage, which had been posted on the British Pathé historical archive Web site, includes a brief rehearsal (one hopes) clip, which is believed to show Serge Lifar and the company in a sequence from Les Sylphides. Diaghilev, of course, was adamant about not allowing his company to be filmed, which makes this discovery all the more exciting.

Can spring really be far off now?

In the meantime, you can view the clip for yourselves here.

Image credit:  Digital ID” Fel_018135_RE, ETH Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv