The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was an organization that supervised the quality of dance teaching in England. Tudor himself had several certificates from them, and these permitted him to teach certain grades of ballet and character dance. He explained that Soiree was not created as a ballet: "It was done as a demonstration piece for the Cecchetti Society (Imperial Society of Dancing) for an annual meeting."
A group of dancers entertained one another with "ballet-national idioms in costume suggested by early nineteenth century prints."
The ballet received a semblance of unity from the fact that all nine dancers remained on stage the entire time; those who were not dancing sat or stood at the sides to watch the various dances.
Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from the Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.
Choreography: Antony Tudor.
Music / Composer: Soirees Musicales arranged by Benjamin Britten, Bioacchino Rossini.
First Performance: London. Palladium Theater. November 26th, 1938. Cecchetti Society matinee. London Ballet.
London Ballet Premiere: December 12th, 1938. Toynbee Hall, London.
London Cast: Canzonetta: Gerd Larson, Hugh Laing; Tirolese: Maude Lloyd, Antony Tudor; Bolera: Peggy van Praagh, Charlotte Bidmead, Therese Langfield; Tarantella: Monica Boam, Guy Massey.
Costumes / Scenery: Hugh Stevenson.
Notated: 1962 by Ann Hutchinson Guest; notated revised in 1975 by Airi Hynninen, Muriel Topaz, Rochelle Zide (Labanotation); 1967 by Elphine Allen; in 1973 by Bronwyn Curry (Benesh Notation).
Numbers of Dancers: 6 Women, 3 Men.
Average Length: 12 minutes.
Costume / Set Design: Peter Harvey.
Costumes / Scenery: Contact Antony Tudor Ballet Trust or DNB.