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Princes & Roses

Suzanne Paynter

Princes & Roses

The Rose Adagio from The Sleeping Beauty ballet is considered one of the most notoriously difficult for a ballerina. In the piece, Aurora meets and dances with four potential suitors, each of them presenting her with a rose (thus, the title Rose Adagio). At the end of the dance, Aurora promenades en pointe in attitude (extending her leg in a high arch behind her) as each prince holds her hand and circles around her, turning her like a figurine in a music box. At the end of each promenade, she must balance on her own as each of the four...

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A Cherished Bracelet

Suzanne Paynter charm bracelet

A Cherished Bracelet

Did you have a treasured charm bracelet in your youth? I love jewelry with a story and this is a photo of one of my favorites.Years ago, when my elderly dance teacher, Cora, died she allocated this precious charm bracelet to me. Each charm is engraved with the name of a production she'd participated in, along with the year and even some roles: Finian's Rainbow 1961 Oklahoma 1959 La Traviata 3-11-61 Corps de Ballet Happy Fella 11-60 Die Fledermaus Jan 1961 Corps de Ballet Red Head 1963 "Donnie" The Messiah (the Lord's Prayer beautifully printed inside) Le Carnaval June 1963...

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The Mysterious Cameo . . .

Suzanne Paynter cameos repurposed vintage cameo vintage cameo necklaces

The Mysterious Cameo . . .

Do you have a treasured cameo tucked away in a drawer? No one knows for sure when the first cameo was carved, but it’s believed it was in Greece or Rome. These early cameos were typically scenes from Greek or Roman history and mythology. Today the most common cameo motif is the portrait, and we have the Victorians to thank for this. Early in the 19th century cameos featured a Roman mystery woman wearing no jewelry (gasp!). As more and more Victorian women embarked on their Grand Tour (a traveling rite of passage designed for upper-class Europeans to absorb the...

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What is a "celesta?"

Suzanne Paynter

What is a "celesta?"

You may have never seen a celesta, but chances are you've heard one. The celesta is the unique, twinkling instrument heard in the "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker.  And if you can't hear it in your mind yet, think of the Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter or the opening music from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Tchaikovsky used the newly-invented celesta (after smuggling it into Russia from Paris!) to make the music for the Sugarplum Fairy sound like the "sprays of a fountain" as the choreographer Marius Petipa requested. Here's a video of the Sugar Plum...

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