Prince Vladimir Paley, morganatic son of Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich
The religious and mystical play was given in 1913 at the Theatre de l'Ermitage at Petrograd, and it was performed there many times. The whole Imperial Family, the Court, the Embassies, the high functionaries were all invited in turn to see it. The spectacle was produced magnificently, and the piece was acted by amateurs of talent; but the centre of general attention was the author himself, that is to say, the Grand Duke Constantine, who performed the part of Joseph of Arimathoea with much sincerity and piety. This play made a deep impression on Vladimir, and having taken a copy of the text with him to the trenches, he translated it into French in well-rhymed and sonorous verse. M. Paleologue and the Comte de Chambrun read some fragments of his rendering while they were in Russia, and had nothing but praise for the young translator.
The Grand Duke Constantine, already afflicted by the malady which was to carry him off in June, 1915, on learning that Vladimir had translated his drama, invited the Grand Duke Paul and me and our son to come to Pavlovsk to his palace so that he might hear the translation. We found there his sister, the Queen Dowager of Greece; the Grand Duchess Constantine, his wife; the Princess Jean de Russie, their daughterin-law; some of their children; and M. Bailly-Comte, Professor of French at Petrograd. The latter frequently stayed with the Grand Duke Constantine at Pavlovsk.
Being something of a physiognomist, I noticed a certain look of apprehension on the face of the author of the play, but Vladimir had not read more than a few lines when’ I saw the Grand Duke Constantine exchange a glance of astonishment with M. Bailly-Comte, and as the reading continued I observed signs of growing emotion on his sympathetic countenance, ravaged by suffering. On that day Vladimir read the first two acts, and he was overwhelmed with compliments and congratulations. We had to promise to return some days later to finish the reading of the last two acts. My son concluded with a Russian poem addressed to the Grand Duke concerning his work. When he had read it I saw the latter bend his head. Then, showing us his dear face bathed in tears, he said:
“I have had one of the greatest emotions of. my life - I owe it to Bodia ” (a diminutive which the family used for Vladimir and which he had given to himself as a child). “I cannot say any more. I am dying. I pass on to him my lyre. I bequeath to him my talent as a poet, as though he were my son. Then, turning towards M. Bailly-Comte: "I had asked you to find in France a translator for my poem. Be so good, if you please, as to send a telegram to Paris to make it known that I do not wish there to be any other translation. It is impossible to do better.”
“As I Remember It”: For over sixty years, dancer Carmen de Lavallade has performed worldwide in collaboration with legendary artists such as Josephine Baker and Duke Ellington. Still performing in her eighties, Ms. de Lavallade is currently touring an autobiographical show called “As I Remember It.” The production features Ms. de Lavallade performing with projections of her younger self as well as with films featuring some of her significant collaborators. Stories of her years in California dancing with Lester Horton, in New York with Alvin Ailey and her time spent as a member of the Yale Repertory Theatre frame the evening. In this Big Think interview, Ms. de Lavallade recounts the process that led to show’s development.
This year’s Royal Variety Performance will be held on Tuesday, 6th December 2016, at the Eventim Apollo. No word on which royals will be attending the Royal Variety this year, but it will likely either be Charles & Camilla or William & Kate.