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Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.


A Scene from The New Ballet of "Les Amazons," At The Covent Garden Theatre

From The Illustrated London News of October 14th 1848.

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After the Opera on Monday night (for a notice of which see page 234), a new grand ballet, called "Les Arnazons," was brought out at this Theatre, and with very considerable success - no more, however, than It deserved, from the gorgeous manner in which it was put upon the stage. Mr. Bunn is Peculiarly fortunate in his reproductions of those elaborately splendid spectacles for which the Acadmie Royale and the Porte St. Martin are so famous. Looking back through a long list of pieces brought out under his management, there are few which have not equalled the Parisian originals in their Mise en scene, and many have surpassed them.

In the history of Columbus and America we have some recollection of an account of his returning to Spain (after his first voyage) with some young Indians, who told him of an island inhabited by Amazons, to which he would have gone, had not the impatience of his crew to reach Spain again, and their gloomy looks at the proposed prolongation of his voyage, turned him from his purpose. The wonderful island was thus lost to the world until discovered by the ballet composer of the nineteenth century, who has given us a very vivid picture of the manners and customs of its inhabitants. It is fortunate, in these days of asserting the rights of women, that they are not nearer neighbours, or there is no telling what grand domestic revolutions they might not give rise to.

We cannot give the plot of the ballet in clear order, for it partakes slightly of the confusion incidental to all stories of this kind; but we find the Spanish gentlenten - who are without doubt that portion of Columbus's escort who shirked their commander under the direction of Pinzon - all right, and landed on the island, and getting into that frightful state of dilemmas naturally to be expected in a country wherein the ladies had everything their own way. At last, it is decided by the fair government to drive the intruders from the island; and then the Queen assembles all her guards in review; and all the evolutions are gone through with which we have become familiar in the " Revolt of the Harem," "Valska," " Valentine and Orson," "Lurline, " and many other pieces; but which always delight us by their picturesque and glittering combinations.

Mdlle. Plunkett, whom we remember some years ago at Her Majesty's Theatre, and who is, we believe, sister to the pretty Madame Doche of the French plays, made her first appearance at Covent-Garden, as the principal character in this ballet. We congratulate Mr. Bnn upon the engagement, for the young lady is destined to become a great favourite. Attractive in face and figure, she is exceedingly graceful and sprightly in her dancing; and in her general style of pantomime and expression reminds us something of Carlotta Grisi. She was loudly applauded throughout the ballet, and encored in a pas de deux with Petipa in the second act. She also danced a pas seul, distinguished by great finish and precision.

The most unqualified cominendation can be bestowed upon the other artistes engaged in the performance. Where all were so painstaking and excellent it is needless to particularise. The continuous rounds of general applause testified the complete success of the ballet, which is altogether one of the most attractive and splendid affairs that we have witnessed for some time.

The resources of Covent-Garden are, as is generally known, immense for the production of great effects, and all these have been brought into play to the full in "Les Arnazons."

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