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A puppet film from Czechoslovakia.
The Embassy Ballet (Directed by Molly Lake)
The story is of ballet a hundred years ago. Theophile Gautier, great ballet critic of the day. writes his impressions of the farewell performance of a famous ballerina, Emilienne Lagrange. He reads his words. The scene fades to part of Mlle. Lagrange's actual performance. The curtain falls. Dupont and the Ballet Master pay her homage. It rises again on preparation for the dress rehearsal of the ballerina who is to take over her part. All the usual trials of a dress rehearsal ensue, but the new ballerina acquits herself admirably, receiving the Ballet Master's approbation, even Lagrange's discarded bouquet. The tired company depart. The forgotten ballerina returns, looks around the empty stage and realises that it is indeed her Last Curtain.
by Anton Chekhov.
Translated by S.S. Koteliansky.
The scene is Russia, and the action takes place at the country estate of Madame Ranevsky in the year 1890.
(Marian Spencer appears by permission of the Old Vic Company)