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Circus Wings

Alternative title: à la Polka; Mlle Fifi
Choreographer: Andrée Howard
Costume designer: Andrée Howard
World premiere: 30 Mar 1938, Ballet Club, Mercury Theatre, London
Work note: This solo was often performed with Frank Staff's 'The Two Igors' under the umbrella title of 'Two Gramophone Sketches' or 'Gramophone Sketches'. At its premiere, believed to be 30 March 1938, its title was 'à la Polka', but by 3 April 1938, it was listed as 'Mlle Fifi'. By February 1939, it was known as 'Circus Wings'. In a 1989 letter to the Rambert Archive, Elisabeth Schooling wrote: 'Circus Wings was a zany solo devised for me by Andrée based on the Penny Plain Twopence Coloured Circus Pollock prints. I wore a red velvet & gold fringed bloomer dress, with very pink tights, and bootees cleverly made [by her] in satin over point shoes... At one moment I went off stage & opening the door, unexpectedly back, past the piano with an intrepid leap on to the apron of the stage. At the beginning of the dance as the curtains parted I was seen posed in adjusting my bootee. Thus discovered the dance progressed uncertainly, always off balance & occasionally interrupted by invisible ''things'' in the way or off stage. It was great fun to dance as I always enjoyed making the audience laugh'.
Number of dancers: 1 woman
Music details: Recorded music (a record was played on a gramophone)
Source: Programme and reference file in the Rambert Archive
Archive catalogue: WORK/0099

Performances

Date Programme Venue
3 Apr 1938
Evening
The Strike of Wives (Lysistrata) | Croquis de ''Mercure'' (Sketches for ''Mercury'') | La Muse s'Amuse | Pas de Deux from Casse-Noisette | Étrange | à La Russe* | à La Polka Mercury Theatre, London
6 Apr 1938
Evening
La Péri | Pas de Deux from Casse-Noisette | Étrange | Mlle Fifi | The Two Igors | Alcina Suite | La Muse s'Amuse Mercury Theatre, London
17 May 1941
After-lunch
Overture | Shepherd's Wooing | Panaderos | Circus Wings | The Two Igors | Alegrias* | Interlude | Lady into Fox The Arts Theatre Club, London
29 Jun 1941
After-lunch
Circus Wings | The Two Igors | Panaderos | Pavane pour une Infante Défunte* | Lady into Fox The Arts Theatre Club, London
Made by Palace