Lady of Camellias (1951)


Lady of Camellias

Hugh Laing and Diana Adams 1951
Photo © Estate of George Platt Lynes
Photo courtesy of Judith Chasin-Bennahum


Original program notes for the ballet:

Scene 1. Paris 1848, Party “Chez Prudence”
Prudence, Vida Brown
Guests, 4 women and 5 men
Scene 2. In the country, 2 months later
Marguerite Diana Adams
Armand Hugh Laing
M. Duval John Earle
Scene 3. Paris several months later
Scene 4. Marguerite’s bedroom

The novel (l848) La Dame aux caméllias by Alexandre Dumas fils, which inspired this ballet, has been transformed successfully into operas, plays, and movies. The story concerns Marguerite Gautier, a Parisian courtesan, called “la dame aux caméllias” for her passion for this flower. She falls deeply in love with Armand Duval. The two live in quiet happiness in the country until Armand’s father visits Marguerite, determined to separate his Son from the “fallen woman.” When bribes fail, the father implores her to give Armand up for his sake. Convinced that the love affair is damaging to Armand, she returns to Paris, letting him believe she has left him for a rich nobleman. But the sacrifice has been too great, and her already consumptive condition grows rapidly worse. At first angry at the seeming betrayal, Armand eventually learns the truth and hastens to Paris in time for Marguerite to die in his arms.

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Giuseppe Verdi, from Nabucco, Sicilian Vespers, Macbeth, and I Lombardi, selected and arranged by Antony Tudor
First Performance
New York
New York City Center
February 28, 1951
New York City Ballet
Costumes / Scenery
Cecil Beaton
Jean Rosenthal
Cast - First Performance
Vida Brown, Diana Adams, Brooks Jackson, Hugh Laing, Antony Tudor
Number of Dancers
Average Length
Licensing Information

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



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