Who is this ballerina?
July 23, 2006 8:05 PM   Subscribe

I've been wondering since 1984...

My mother gave me a cassette of music for my birthday in 1984. This ballerina is on the cover.

Does anyone know who she is? For some reason, I'm absolutely captivated by the way she's holding her right arm.
posted by flutable to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Response by poster: Apologies for not framing the question correctly in the heading for this posting - it's my first MeFi question :S
posted by flutable at 8:09 PM on July 23, 2006

Would you be terribly disappointed if she turned out not to be a real ballerina? I think she's a model in a costume.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:05 PM on July 23, 2006

Response by poster: @AmborseChapel: Um, I hadn't considered that, but here's hoping she *is* real.

Universal Music (who appear to be a parent label for Decca) doesn't have this title listed in their catalogue, just checked there...
posted by flutable at 9:18 PM on July 23, 2006

My first impression, like Ambrose, was that she's a model rather than an actual dancer. Is there any information about the photographer or rights holder for the image on the cassette? That's probably the only way you'll be able to track her down.

But if you're hoping to see her dance somehow - a filmed performance of Swan Lake, etc - I think the chances are pretty slim.
posted by aladfar at 10:22 PM on July 23, 2006

For some reason, I am quite captivated by all of her! Her look, the cleavage (and, yes, the way her right arm is held) makes a very appealing image of femininity. All in all, quite memorable.
posted by vac2003 at 2:13 AM on July 24, 2006

That was 22 years ago and you're still, uh, thinking about her?

Maybe if you collected some facts you'd see a way to track this down.

It was 1984. She's 22 years older. If the record was made in 1984 (maybe it's older) and the photo was new (maybe it wasn't), she's at least, what, 40? And more like 50? Older?

It looks like the Decca viva! label was Decca's cheapo classical label in Australia and NZ. The cover must have been a cheapo, probably with some stock photography bought from a standard source. "Let us see some classy shots of ballerinas. Sexy ballerinas."

You could try to find the supplier of stock photography that Decca used for that label. UK? Australia?

There's this (searched for "Rainbow Music Group"):
(T/As Rainbow Music Group)
Unit 4, 19 Rodborough Road
Frenchs Forest NSW 2086
Phone: (02) 9451 7577
Fax: (02) 9452 1233
Managing director: John A. Avakian
Marketing director: Ara Avakian
National accounts manager: Brad Hibben
Company secretary: Bruce Henry
Video product manager: Peter Fenley
Accountant: Piebe Eppinga
Format: CD, cassette
Australian labels (owned/distributed): Astor, Music For Pleasure, Rainbow, Summit
Overseas labels: Alshire, Audio Archives, Damil, Great Composers, 101 Strings, Parade, Peter Pan, R.P.O. Classics, Symphonia Classics, Tring
Genre of music: All Types; Budget & promotional priced music
Solicited material only
You could contact someone there (if they still work there) and see if they have any record of the release, etc.
posted by pracowity at 5:39 AM on July 24, 2006

Great question. I'd suggest posting to rec.music.opera on Usenet, and contacting Decca Classics. Also, try online classical releases databases and local stores that sell classical music, perhaps there is a LP (or CD - who knows?) version with the same image that has a bit more detailed info about the cover art.

Also, if the tape is emotionally valuable to you, transfer it to digital as soon as possible. Cassettes don't last forever. (Neither do CDs and hard drives, but hedging your bets can't hurt).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:51 AM on July 24, 2006

I agree that it's almost certainly a model. She looks pretty untrained as a ballet dancer. I suppose it's possible that she was a ballet student. I was a big ballet freak in 1984 and I don't recognize her from all the Dance Magazines I read. Hey, there's an idea -- you could email the photo to Dance Magazine; someone there might recognize her if she was a prominent dancer.
posted by JanetLand at 10:02 AM on July 24, 2006

Not to be crass, but I think her ample decolletage indicates that she is a model not a ballerina.
posted by radioamy at 4:06 PM on July 24, 2006

Response by poster: @pracowity: thanks. I got a bit of a runaround from another company that produces directories of the music industry - they wanted $50 to give me the same information! Luckily your posting arrived at the same time... Rainbow have no idea, and suggested that I contact Universal in the US (they are Decca's parent company in the US).

I'd decided 22 yars ago to find out who she was, just hadn't gotten around to doing anything until a few weeks ago :)

@goodnewsfortheinsane: Thanks for the Decca classics link- it's the same form that comes up on Universal's website. And I'd completely forgotten about Usenet (too used to web-based fora I guess).

@JanetLand: Great idea! Will check this.
posted by flutable at 6:33 PM on July 24, 2006

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I don't think she's a ballerina either. For one, she doesn't have the receding hairline that most ballerinas have (even those that are fairly young) that come as a result of twisting their hair into a bun day after day.

In addition, if you study her left foot closely, through the faint sheath of her dress, it appears that she's sickling her left foot (i.e., she's not keeping her heel forward) - again, something you would not see with a properly-trained ballerina.

Realistically, cleavage of that size would make a lot of balletic movements, especially extensive lifting done by a male partner, quite impractical and difficult to do.

Of course, I could be wrong about all of the above. If you're really intent on finding out who this person really is - and if you still believe that she's a dancer, then you have to go where there's a good population of balletomanes of *ahem* a certain age, because this photo is quite old. I recommend the BalletTalk forum. You should probably post in this category.
posted by invisible ink at 6:47 PM on July 24, 2006

Response by poster: Just as an update, several staff from Dance magazine believe that she's a model :( Apparently she doesn't hold her arms correct (port de bras, if I remember the term correctly).

Oh well. A dream shattered, but ..hmmm...I'd still like to know her name. Just for the record.

Thanks for all your help, people.
posted by flutable at 7:02 AM on July 27, 2006

« Older Everyone's a cousin.... right?   |   Part timers insuranceIs there a list of employers... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.