Swag border for Quelques Fleurs
The Ballet Russe Collection
One-act ballet choreographed by Ruthanna Boris, on a commission
by the Houbigant perfume company.
Music by Francois Auber.
Scenery & costumes by Robert Davison.
Premiere: New York, September 30 1948, by the Ballet Russe de
"Quelques Fleurs concerns the events at a garden party given by
the Contessa Ilaria del Caretto - how she loves Zenobio
Bonaventuro, a gay young man of fashion - and by what means she
endeavors to win his love. If you were told how the story ended,
you wouldn't be surprised!"
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo Souvenir Program, Season
"...a story about a haughty Contessa who, unsuccessful in her
attempts to snare a young man, seeks help from an alchemist who
presents her with three wondrous perfumes which causes the young
man to swoon at their loveliness. Ultimately, this gift proves to
be of no avail, since the youth rejects the Contessa, preferring
the fragrances to the woman."
Jack Anderson, The One and Only: The Ballet Russe de Monte
As the hilarious names of the principal characters already
indicate, this ballet was typical of Ms. Boris' irreverent sense of
humor. She had at first been reluctant to undertake a ballet
commissioned by commercial interests, but upon hearing that she
would fully have free reins in artistic decisions finally had
accepted the task, devising a libretto that nonetheless had
something to do with perfume. The famous dance critic Walter Terry
characterized the ballet as "...not as hilarious as her Cirque
de Deux but it generates constant smiles and frequent
chuckles" New York Herald Tribune, 10/10/1948.
The suspended swag border, with its rich hues of violet and
gold, and countless colorful flowers interspersed throughout its
folds, is the only remnant of this ballet in the drop