Soiree Musicale (1938)


1938 – Photo from Ballet Rambert Archives
No photo credit; Photo Courtesy of Judith Chasin-Bennahum


The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was an organization that supervised the quality of dance teaching in England. Tudor himself had several certificates from them, and these permitted him to teach certain grades of ballet and character dance. He explained that Soiree was not created as a ballet: “It was done as a demonstration piece for the Cecchetti Society (Imperial Society of Dancing) for an annual meeting.”

A group of dancers entertained one another with “ballet-national idioms in costume suggested by early nineteenth century prints.”

The ballet received a semblance of unity from the fact that all nine dancers remained on stage the entire time; those who were not dancing sat or stood at the sides to watch the various dances.

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Gioacchino Rossini
Arranged by Benjamin Britten, Soirees Musicales
First Performance
Palladium Theater
November 26, 1938
Cecchetti Society matinee
London Ballet
London Ballet Premiere
December 12, 1938
Toynbee Hall, London
London Cast
Canzonetta: Gerd Larson, Hugh Laing; Tirolese: Maude Lloyd, Antony Tudor; Bolero: Peggy van Praagh, Charlotte Bidmead, Therese Langfield; Tarantella: Monica Boam, Guy Massey
Costumes / Scenery
Hugh Stevenson
1962 by Ann Hutchinson Guest; notation revised in 1975 by Airi Hynninen, Muriel Topaz, Rochelle Zide (Labanotation); 1967 by Elphine Allen; in 1973 by Bronwyn Curry (Benesh Notation)
Number of Dancers
6 Women, 3 Men
Average Length
12 Minutes
Costume / Set Design
Peter Harvey
Costumes / Scenery
Contact Antony Tudor Ballet Trust or DNB
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 Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.



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