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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Ambushed by Angels: 1924

Ambushed by Angels: 1924

August 20, 1924. "National American Ballet." View full size. National Photo Co.

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This is a beautiful photo, the illusion of flying by the three angels is marvelous.

Hubba Hubba Lubovska

That image of Madame L. has my eyes popping out of their sockets Tex Avery style.

Madam Desiree Lubovska

The short-lived National American Ballet was under the direction of Madam Desiree Lubovska. Perhaps that is her supervising the girls' swim break. Desiree Lubovska was the stage name of Winniefred Foote (1893-1974), an English/Irish American with "not a drop of either French nor Russian blood." A year after this photo the Post reported that she was opening a finishing school for dancing in Washington.

Washington Post, Oct 5, 1924

Madam Lubovska as Rival to Pavlowa

Desiree Lubovska's National American ballet, showing at Poli's theater Friday afternoon in a benefit for the Joppa lodge, chapter No. 27, O.E.S., will go down in history of the few hundred theatergoers present as probably the greatest display or originality in dancing ever seen in Washington.

Interpreting nearly every mode of dance known, both in the Old World and the New, her ballet went across with a 100 per cent success. "Autumn," by Mme. Lubovska, rivals, without questions, anything that the immortal Pavlowa has shown in this country, both in rhythm and technique. The "Dance Analysis," something new in the way of exhibiting the principal points of esthetic dancing, was shown with the aid of special lighting and black sheets. The actual movements of the hands and feet separately, done like a slow movie, gave the audience an insight as to the real work in ballet dancing and was most artistic. The five dancers showed well their training under Mme. Lubovska.

From Greek suites to the sun dance of the Aztecs, the ballet was a capable, artistic and original as any troupe that has ever visited this city. Taking the early American dances, Lubovska's technique showed in the production her capability of combining the rhythm of the Old World dances with the music of the New, and achievement that has not been entirely successful in the past. The technique of the entire ballet promises a future that will soon be unrivaled.

M. Lubovska c. 1912.


Hey, somebody tell my nosy neighbor, the one with the telescope in his attic, tell him to point that thing somewhere else!

Modern Ballet

I recently saw the Kirov Ballet and compared to them, the 1924 "National American Ballet" could be on steroids.


Look at the muscle tone on these women! Clearly, these gals are athletes.

Conan Doyle will surely appreciate

At last! I knew that fairies were for real! Thanks for producing the proof.

Life in the Suburbs

My neighbors do this all the time. I can see it only if I go up into my attic though because of the tall pine trees surrounding their property.

[I'll bet the telescope helps, too. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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