La Gloire (1952)


La Gloire

1952 - Hugh Laing, Nora Kaye NYC Ballet production
No photo credit ; Photo courtesy of Judith Chasin-Bennahum


The ballet was inspired by the film “All About Eve” as well as by memories Tudor’s bitter experiences in an ambitious and cruel dance world; little escaped his mocking wit, especially the kinds of feuds and vendettas associated with backstage and rehearsal behavior. La Gloire revolves around the decline of a great actress in a nineteenth century European theater, with her remarkable moments on stage as Lucretia, Phaedra, and Hamlet at a time when it was not unusual for a great woman actress to portray important male roles. In addition, the ballet delved into her tense personal life and her flirtations with leading men in the wings and offered searing insights into the magical theater world.

But the star is haunted by the Dancer in Gray who will eventually succeed her. Just as the star returns for the final scene in her role as Hamlet, she shivers as she watches her understudy blatantly exhibit herself, gaining control over her roles in Racine’s Phaedra, Arnault’s Lucrece, and Shakepeare’s Hamlet. During the scene when Hamlet and Laertes duel, the Queen drinks from the poison cup, and the King is killed. With Hamlet’s death, the symbolism of the star’s demise emerges as the understudy steals from the wings in readiness to replace the star.

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Ludwig van Beethoven
Overtures: Egmont,
Coriolanus ,Leonora no. 3
First Performance
New York - City Center
February 26, 1952
New York City Ballet
First Cast Performance
Nora Kaye, Hugh Laing, Barbara Walczak, Beatrice Tomkins, Francisco Moncion, Doris Breckenridge, Edith Brozak, Arlouine Case, Kaye Sargent, Tomi Wortham, Gloria Vauges, Jacques d’Amboise, Una Kai, Walter Georgov, Stanley Zompakos
Robert Fletcher
Gaston Longchamp
Number of Dancers
Average Length
Licensing Information

 Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.



 The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, P.O.Box 783, Ocean Beach, NY 11770
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