The Marchioness

Margrave 1932

Who will rule the minor German principality of Anspach after the death of its present ruler, the Marquis (or ‘le Margrave’)? It’s the usual, recurring problem of aristocratic rulers: securing the succession. The Marquis has no son, only a charming but air-headed daughter, Princess Dorothée. He does have a younger brother, but of doubtful legitimacy, and there’s no prospect that he himself might, even at this late stage, produce a son and heir. The reason is simple: his wife, the Marchioness (or ‘la Margrave’ – in French, the male and female titles are the same word, differentiated only by grammatical gender, so it’ll be less confusing if we use the English equivalents). She’s a scion of the British royal family, haughty, vain and sly, who hates her miserable married life in this ‘odieuse et ridicule’ German backwater, not to mention hating her husband and their daughter, and is in turn heartily detested by the Marquis. There will be no more babies, of either gender, for this couple.

The problem becomes pressing with the appearance of a spectral white lady who manifests herself whenever a male member of the House of Anspach is about to die. The Marquis swiftly makes a will which disbars the Marchioness from the regency and assigns power instead to the flighty and utterly unsuitable Princess Dorothée. Luckily for all concerned, the one who dies is the brother, who obviously wasn’t illegitimate after all, but having made the will, the Marquis refuses to change it. And so the Marchioness sets out to take her revenge and secure her own position…

That’s the central situation in the sardonic 1932 comedy La Margrave by Alfred Savoir (1883-1934), who is best known for his 1921 stage play, La Huitième Femme de Barbe-Bleu (Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife), which was filmed in 1923 and remade in 1938 with the added attractions of Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert and a spanking scene.

In contrast, La Margrave was never filmed but had its spanking scene present and correct from the start. In the original production, which opened at the Comédie des Champs-Elysées on November 18, 1932, the key role of Princess Dorothée was played by Lucienne Bogaert, who at the age of 40 was considerably older than her character.

She was praised for her performance, and the production was praised for its gorgeous 18th-century period costumes…

… though only one of those two things will be relevant when we come to the spanking scene. And if I’ve succeeded in drawing major attention to the character of Dorothée, that’s exactly what the play does too as the story develops.

Since she is to be the next ruler of Anspach, it is now vital to get her married to a suitable European royal. She prefers the Polish Prince Charles-Auguste, but he’s too junior for such a marriage to be diplomatically useful, and the Marchioness also sneers at his poverty, calling him Prince ‘Va Nu Pied’ (Go Barefoot). Another possibility is the old, lecherous, hunchbacked Elector Palatine, who meets with less enthusiasm from Dorothée, for obvious reasons. But the Marchioness has a scheme of her own, which will have a very different outcome. Towards the end of the second act, she asks whether her daughter believes in God and, when Dorothée answers in the affirmative, remarks, ‘That’ll be useful.’

The third and final act of the play takes place in a hunting lodge where Dorothée plans to stay the night and be serenaded by Charles-Auguste. But unknown to either of them, there is a commoner in her bed, put there by the Marchioness to do the obvious with her; once she is no longer a virgin, she will be disgraced and can be safely packed off to a convent (hence the usefulness of her not being an atheist), leaving her mother as the only possible ruler after the Marquis goes to an early grave. Yes, there are hints that this is also part of the fiendish plot.

The man who has been selected as the seducer and possible poisoner is a French painter, Lebrun, and in 1932 he was played by Pierre Renoir, who happened to be the son of a French painter (and, incidentally, elder brother of a celebrated film director). When Dorothée finds him in her room, she’s less disconcerted than she might be, despite the fact that she was getting ready for bed and so is wearing only her underwear. Her behavior oscillates between haughty and naughty: she imperiously tells him he shouldn’t remain seated in her presence, then keeps ‘accidentally’ losing her slipper so that he can find it and put it back on her foot; one moment she’s clicking her fingers at him (a habit picked up from Charles-Auguste), and the next, flirtatiously lifting the hem of her chemise to reveal a little more thigh.

The two characters travel in different directions in the course of the scene. Dorothée begins to get excited at the prospect of being taken in the painter’s strong, manly arms, as muscular as those on the statue of Apollo beside the park fountain, and when the finger-clicking Charles-Auguste approaches the window, mandolin at the ready for their chaste assignation, she sends him away now that she has a real man to occupy her. But Lebrun is so struck by her that he comes to his senses: if he dishonors her as planned, he will become a pawn in a game of high politics of which he disapproves.

Dorothée is still thinking about her entanglement with the Polish Prince and how to escape from it. Lebrun probably isn’t thinking about the rule of protocol making it improper to sit down in the presence of a princess, because he’s about to break it, along with a fair few other rules about how commoners should treat princesses, and what parts of the royal person are allowed to be touched. In consequence, sitting down will not be part of this particular princess’s immediate future. And as for being taken in his strong arms – well, they remain relevant, but it’s his manly knee she’s going to be taken across…

Here’s how the encounter plays out:

DOROTHÉE: What a cruel fate to be deluded in love.

LEBRUN: It’s not as cruel a fate as mine.

DOROTHÉE: All the same, love…

LEBRUN: Yes, all the same. Stay away. Stay away. I don’t want it.

DOROTHÉE: But I want it.

LEBRUN: All right, I’ll make love.

(He puts her across his knee and gives her a hard smack on her bottom.)

DOROTHÉE: But this is not love, Monsieur Lebrun: you’re mistaken!

LEBRUN: No way.

(He gives her a second smack.)

DOROTHÉE: But it hurts!

LEBRUN: Did nobody warn you?

(He gives her another smack.)

DOROTHÉE: Monsieur Lebrun, let me go. Enough of love! I don’t want any more of it, ever, I promise you!

LEBRUN: If you promise.

(He releases her.)

DOROTHÉE: So, is that the famous French loving that people talk about?

LEBRUN: Exactly that.

DOROTHÉE: It’s very overrated.

LEBRUN: Maybe.

DOROTHÉE: But there’s something about it, an idea. Of course, the first time it’s a surprise, it’s breathtaking.

LEBRUN: Listen, you mosquito, if you say one more word, just one, if you don’t stop assaulting my ears…

DOROTHÉE: No, Monsieur Lebrun, I won’t say anything.

LEBRUN: You know enough now, and even too much. You’re an expert.

And with that, he sends her packing with a sore bottom and romantic ideas about the role of spanking in courtship. The next caller at the lodge is the Marchioness, who also rather fancies him to the extent that, when the Marquis arrives soon afterwards, he finds them in one another’s arms. And the Marchioness finishes the play by telling her husband to go away and not worry about it: she’s about to arrange for him to have the one thing he most needs, a son and heir!

No photograph of the spanking scene has so far come to light, but it was sketched by a theatrical cartoonist:

One thing we can say for sure, however, is that this is not a wholly accurate representation of the scene. The cartoonist shows the spanking being done SLB (sous le bras), which was indeed a frequent position in French spankings up to the 1960s. But this is the only known example of an OTK spanking in a pre-1939 French stage play: the other three were all SLB, but here all the banter about sitting down in the Princess’s presence requires that he put her across his knee rather than spank her while standing up, and contemporary reviews confirm that this was how it was done in the production. But at least the cartoonist got one thing right: she was indeed very scantily clad in just a short chemise!

Photographer of the Week: Gilles Cavantou

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Whether it’s his photographer’s eye or his choice of models, everything Valence-based Gilles Cavantou shoots is beautiful.

He has been a photographer for ten years: it’s his principal passion, he says.

He’s a commercial photographer, so he’ll shoot pictures to commemorate any event in any life, but of course girls are an especial forte.

Their innate beauty shines out with the lustrous clarity that characterizes all his work.

He also shoots couples – as I said before, he’s a commercial photographer who’ll shoot anything and make it look good.

One thing it seems he can’t always do is get a girl to pose the right way up on her boyfriend’s lap. Maybe it’s a matter of finding a more cooperative kind of male model?

If you are interested in Gilles’ work, please visit his website.

Keep Spanking the Cosplayer

Time for another dive into the world of cosplay, where glorious geeks put time and talent into recreating their favorite characters from the world of comics, sci-fi and beyond, often leaving their inhibitions at the door.

There are some characters you can confidently expect to get cosplayed wherever cosplay is taking place, like Robin (female version preferred),

or Wonder Woman,

or the Teen Titans.

There will always be a place for the Star Wars franchise, too,

even if occasionally it’s done rather unconventionally.

But there are also more idiosyncratic choices of subject, like the animated sci-fi series Rick and Morty,

or the video game Street Fighter:

Follow cosplay and in all likelihood you’ll learn some new cultural idioms. For instance, I wasn’t previously acquainted with Hetalia, the Japanese comics series which plays out a sardonic version of history with the nations of the world embodied as human characters.

I also knew nothing of the Final Fantasy video game franchise, which numbers among its characters the nubile Cindy Aurum:

Her accessories hint at her purpose in life, or in the game.

She’s a car mechanic!

But take a closer look at her costume.

Not all cosplayers are brave enough to reproduce the panties peeking out over her shorts, emphasizing her femininity – though by rights they should, as in the video game, be pink panties, not white.

Correct – well done that cosplayer! But perhaps you may be able to think of another scenario for Cindy.

I know I can – and so could these cosplayers, too:

But why stop with video games? Cosplayers have recreated Disney characters, from Snow White to Tinker Bell.

They have been pirates, possibly of the Caribbean.

They have raided Castle Anthrax.

It seems you can cosplay anything at all. Can you guess what this lady is preparing to recreate with her cosplay partner?

It’s… the famous/notorious Chase and Sanborn spanking coffee advert!

Here’s another recreation of a vintage ad, with a relevant twist: an adult version of the Coppertone baby gets her bottom smacked!

In general, cosplayers tend to avoid nudity – the whole point of the exercise is to show off their brilliant costume creations, not their bodies. But here’s a cosplay of, I kid you not, a bare bottom spanking, complete with prosthetic bare bottom:

It is an unwritten rule that any discussion of spanking in cosplay must always be headed towards one particular character.

21 Harley Quinn

It is a fact that Harley Quinn often has the right kind of endowments for it.

Her fellow cosplayers evidently agree.

For some, it seems, Harley is even an object of worship!

Don’t get carried away – but it’s true that Harley is sometimes the one who gets to give a cosplay spanking.

Here she is with a friend: the Harley and the Ivy.

And just for once, it’s Poison Ivy who gets sore.

OK, just for twice…

But it’s more common for Harley to be on the receiving end.

Even when she’s also doling it out!

Here she is the subject of a combined effort by the Dynamic Duo: over Batman’s knee while Robin whacks her.

But Batman can deal with her alone if needs be. Now, I said earlier that cosplay tends to avoid nudity, but in this case the joke absolutely depends on seeing Harley’s bare bottom. Panties down, dear!

In the end, the standard Harley pairing is with the Joker.

And it seems he’s also the one most likely to spank her properly!

You may think these people are nerds. Well, maybe they are – so let’s stand up for nerdiness!

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Laura and the Jacques: The Television Version

Geneviève Fontanel first starred in, and was spanked in, Gabriel Arout’s comedy Laure et Les Jacques when it premiered in Paris at the end of 1963. A little over three years later, in the spring of 1967, she was best known for playing the wife of the title character in the television detective series Vidocq; and her next job was a television production of Laure et les Jacques, directed by Henri Spade.

Onstage, she had been spanked by actor Jess Hahn, playing the fourth parallel version of her husband Jacques, who uses what the press called the least pleasant but most effective method of courtship. Onscreen, the role was taken by Bernard Fresson. Here he is with Geneviève in rehearsal:

It wasn’t the most enjoyable rehearsal period for her, because this particular part of the play had to be repeated more than twenty times before it was right.

And eventually it was right. Here’s the ‘télé-fessée’ itself:

And now Geneviève can relax, even if she can’t sit down to do so. But not forever – because in five years’ time she will be playing Laura again, in another television production of 1972!

Photographer of the Week: Andreas Bernst

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Wuppertal in Germany is where you’d go to be shot by lifestyle photographer Andreas Bernst.

His pictures have a quality of cool sensuality that’s often enhanced by the presence of water…

lots of water…

As well as an eye for beauty, he brings to his work a sense of fantasy:

And occasionally there are alarming situations:

Being spanked may also be alarming for a girl, but perhaps it’s a good way of drying off, too:

If you are interested in Andreas Bernst’s work, please visit his website.

Further Out of the Caves

Last week we saw how, in the early decades of the last century, the caveman became associated with the practice of courtship by spanking. It proved a very long-lived reputation. In the July 1969 edition of the Archie-clone comic book Date with Debbi, for example, there is a story entitled ‘The Cave-Man Cometh’, in which the teen heroine Debbi Anderson wishes her boyfriend Buddy could be more of a caveman. But when she gets her wish, she resents his domineering ways and his lack of any conversation beyond the word ‘Oog’, and ends up breaking a broom over his head. The consequences of that are:

And it seems cavemen spank their women even in very recent times. Here’s a Flintstones routine from a 2016 edition of Strictly Come Dancing, the British version of Dancing with the Stars:

But how much is that really about cavemen anyway? The Flintstones is much more about American domestic life in the 1950s, and the ‘spanking’ dance move is the one the French call tam-tam fesses,

which occurs in a wide range of non-prehistoric contexts. And it’s also not uncommon for dance show Charlestons to feature a bit of bottom-smacking as part of the general goofiness of the dance, or perhaps a nod to its period of origin, the 1920s. And since the Twenties was also the decade when the caveman spanker first fully emerged, we seem about to go round in circles.

So let’s take a quick detour into prehistory, or rather to prehistory as seen in the 1940s, the heyday of cartoonist V. T. Hamlin’s newspaper comic strip Alley Oop, whose titular hero is a time-traveling caveman. He has the expected ideas about how to deal with female misbehavior, as expressed in this panel from 1947:

20 Alley Oop 1947

Eighteen months later, in April 1949, the strip featured a full-scale spanking scene when Oop visits the Kingdom of Lem and gets embroiled in an unsuccessful attempt by Princess Zee to seize power from her father, King Wur. Once order is restored, the word around the caves is that the Princess will use her daughterly wiles and go unpunished. But the word around the caves is mistaken, and the Princess gets what the strapline calls ‘some hand psychology’:

21 Alley Oop 1949

22 Alley Oop 1949

What’s noticeable here is that all the relevant participants in these situations are cave people, but the situations themselves are not ‘caveman spankings’ as such. Alley Oop says he’s going to spank the blonde girl Neetah for lying and causing trouble, while the brunette who stops him is his girlfriend Ooola. And the reason she does it becomes clear in the panels that follow:

23 Alley Oop 1947

In contrast, Oop himself, after the spanking moment has passed, seems rather chivalrous:

24 Alley Oop 1947

As for Princess Zee, what she gets is certainly the mother and father of a good spanking, but she gets it from her father as a straightforward act of parental discipline. You could run the same stories with contemporary characters and the spanking situations would remain pretty much unchanged.

Hold that thought while we go back to the 1920s, to look at a silent movie that couldn’t have a more relevant title: The Cave Man (1926).

25 The Cave Man 1926

The title role is taken by Matt Moore, and his relevant co-stars are Phyllis Haver and Marie Prevost.

And you think if that sounds promising, you’re right: it’s a film whose only major disappointment lies in the lack of available visual representations of the scenes in question. Yes, I did say scenes.

The movie is adapted from Gelett Burgess’ 1911 stage play of the same title, which was itself a dramatization of his novel Lady Mechante (1909) – both of which, it may be worth pointing out, came before Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion in 1913. Matt Moore plays Mike Smagg, and he isn’t a caveman – he’s a coalman. He finds half of a hundred-dollar bill in the street, along with a note promising to hand over the other half, so long as the finder is a man and claims it from Myra Gaylord, played by Marie Prevost. She’s the character who in the play and novel was named Lady Mechante, meaning Lady Naughty: a spoiled rich girl who’s bored with the sophisticates of her own set, and hopes by this tactic to find a more interesting kind of man. She’s taken with Mike’s uncouth ways, gives him a makeover and introduces him to her society friends as an eccentric visitor from Britain.

One of those friends is Dolly Van Dream, played by Phyllis Haver, and she too takes a fancy to Mike. The attention goes to his head: he lords it over his coworkers at the coal yard, while Dolly’s mother (Hedda Hopper) encourages matrimony. This excites jealousy in Myra, who is also falling in love with him, but won’t admit it to herself. When he kisses her roughly, she resents it, and spitefully tells him that Dolly wouldn’t have him if she knew who he really is. He bets her otherwise, and tells Dolly, but she fails this test of love and he loses his wager. Humiliated, he gets drunk, seeks out Dolly and angrily puts her across his knee. One sound spanking later, he confronts Myra, and she too is spanked, then thrown over his shoulder and carried off – to the nearest church, to get married.

That’s an account of the story pieced together from contemporary reviews, but as six of the film’s seven reels survive in the Library of Congress collection, it may eventually be possible to see it for ourselves. One thing is certain: despite the title and despite the poster, there is no caveman in the film. It’s just a metaphor for what Mike is and how he behaves.

So in Alley Oop we have cave people behaving like contemporary people, and in the film we have a modern man behaving like a caveman. There’s something out of alignment here, and the explanation lies in something I said earlier about The Flintstones: that it’s actually a comedy about the 1950s, which happens to be set in prehistory.

‘Spanking belongs to the caveman age,’ declared a Chicago judge, ruling for the wife in a 1959 divorce case. That’s one thing he was wrong about: caveman scenarios are almost never really about primeval man, and almost always about projecting aspects of the modern world into the far distant past. So it’s relevant that all of the so-called ‘caveman spankings’ in these early films take place in contemporary settings: winning your loved one by spanking her ‘like a caveman’ is a form of modern sexual behavior that has nothing to do with anything that might actually have happened in the Stone Age, not least because there was never any real evidence about that to begin with.

The point is made wittily in this 1966 cartoon by George Webster Crenshaw (1917-2007):

Even the cavegirl thinks of spanking as something done by a less civilised people, the ‘Backwoods Tribe’! And that brings us back to the supposition we started with last week: ‘As she is a primitive, she would surely accept a spanking.’ It’s mistaken to imagine that there ever was a ‘Golden Age’ when spanking young women was a a universally accepted practice, just as it is mistaken to assume that it’s the norm today. Cavemen probably didn’t do it in the first place, and later they just took the rap for aspects of human character that were hard to reconcile with the twentieth century’s sense of what it meant to be civilised. So there’s no fundamental difference between spanking a primitive and spanking a modern girl, or, in the terms I originally set out, between spanking Leela and spanking Sarah Jane Smith.

30 Leela31 Sarah

Whether she accepts it or not will have nothing to do with her culture, and everything to do with her personal inclination. The same as always…

The Fille Files: Before Ashton

It is sometimes asserted, by people whose idea of research is to look up what it says on Wikipedia, that La Fille Mal Gardée has one of the oldest spanking scenes in the repertory. For Fille has been around since the eighteenth century: it was devised in 1789 by the French choreographer Jean Dauberval (1742-1806) when the Grand Theater in Bordeaux urgently needed a new ballet. He found inspiration in a print shop that was selling an engraving of Pierre-Antoine Baudouin’s 1760s genre painting, The Reprimand, showing a girl being told off by her mother in a barn while her would-be lover slinks away into the darkness of an inner room:

In those three figures, Dauberval saw the core of a story: a fille who just wants to have fun, a young man she hopes to have fun with and a scolding mother who won’t allow it. He worked it up, developing the second strand of the mother’s alternative plans for the girl’s marital future, and cast his wife to dance the leading role of the wayward daughter.

The ballet premiered at the Grand on July 1, 1789, just thirteen days before the French Revolution. So surely that counts as a very long-standing spanking?

People who actually know something about Fille‘s history will point out that its familiar form, with the spanking scene in the first act, was created and choreographed by Frederick Ashton in 1960. That was, obviously, relatively late in the ballet’s lifespan, when it was already 171 years old – an age the Ashton version will not attain until the year 2131, when none of us will be around to see it. But even so, it has a pedigree back to very early times: Ashton’s starting-point was a French scenario for an 1803 production, which he found in the British Museum. It’s worth looking at two key moments in this old document, in order to see how he amended and modeled them in creating the ballet we now know and love.

First, Lise is caught by her mother being wooed by Colas, and excuses herself with the story that she only came out to see what was going on, and wound up getting kissed against her will. Says the scenario:

‘Simone does not believe a word, gives her a few slaps for this untruth and forbids her to go out.’

And though the 1803 document doesn’t say what part of Lise is getting slapped, that is in essence the moment that in Ashton’s hands became the smacking.

1962 Nerina 005

There are ‘further reproaches’ and ‘more threats’ from Simone as we go into the butter-churning sequence, followed by the pas de deux with Colas and the arrival of the friends to tempt Lise away from her chores. And then:

‘Simone appears, muttering, and drives the girls away. They make their escape, laughing. Lise anticipates her mother’s reproaches by explaining that it was the girls who prevented her from doing her allotted task. The old woman refuses to believe this excuse and raises her fist to strike her. At that moment Thomas arrives, followed by his son Alain.’

And as we know, Ashton brilliantly removed the brutality of the fist by turning it into the flat of the maternal hand:

1960 653313fa8cf2238c_large

So putting it in a nutshell, the spanking was an Ashton innovation to bring the ballet’s mother-and-daughter relationship into line with the acceptable norms of the mid-20th century.

But if that’s the case, then here’s a mystery. The notoriously acerbic theater critic Claudia Cassidy once wrote in the Chicago Tribune about a Fille revival that was ‘probably a long way from the original,’ adding that ‘somehow I doubt that mama spanked Lisette on the French stage of 1789’. She wasn’t talking about the Ashton version, not simply because she gives an alternative name for the character whom Ashton calls Lise, but also and more fundamentally because the Ashton version didn’t yet exist: she was writing in 1949 about the American Ballet Theatre version by Dmitri Romanoff, which toured America and was also televised that year, with Edward Caton as Simone and Nana Gollner as, according to Cassidy, ‘a charming Lisette’.

Romanoff based his choreography on that of Bronislava Nijinska, created for the same company in 1940, with Patricia Bowman in the lead.

He had himself danced the role of Colas in this version when it was performed in Chicago in 1942 under the title Naughty Lisette, with Irina Baronova as naughty Lisette.

The Baronova version was based in turn on Alexander Gorsky’s choreography for the 1903 revival at the Bolshoi in Moscow, which itself drew on the 1885 version prepared by Marius Petipa for the St Petersburg production in which the celebrated Italian ballerina Virginia Zucchi played Lise as ‘a cunning, spoiled, passionate girl’:

And this too had an antecedent in Paul Taglioni’s version, which premiered in Berlin in 1864.

Now, it’s all very well tracing back the pedigree like this, but it can only be done in general terms, and won’t tell us the specific thing we want to know: when the spanking business found its way into the ballet, or indeed anything about the circumstances surrounding it. But for the latter, we are indebted to the great Russian-American choreographer George Balanchine, who included a summary of Fille as one of his 101 Stories of the Great Ballets (1954).

Forget the Ashton version: as Balanchine tells it, the spanking only happens at almost the very end. The harvest is in and Lisette has been locked in at home by her mother, only to find that Colas has smuggled himself into the house. But the widow is heard coming back, and Colas has to hide in the hayloft. Unfortunately, he forgets his scarf, and Simone notices it as soon as she’s through the door. And we’ll hear what happens next in Balanchine’s own words:

‘Simone fetches a large switch to beat the girl. Lisette runs, but the old woman catches up with her, spanks her soundly and, as an additional penalty, locks her in the hayloft.’

That’s almost certainly what happened to Nana Gollner in 1949, and it’s good bet that it also happened to Irina Baronova in 1942 and Patricia Bowman in 1940. But does the business really go all the way back to Imperial Russia in the 19th century?

It does. We know that because there’s a surviving synopsis of the ballet made by the ballerina Evgenia Pavlovna Sokolova, who danced the role of Lise in the 1870s.

It’s a remarkably detailed document that runs for pages and pages, and it brings out the ever-present threat of spanking that hangs over Lise throughout the ballet, to be finally realized just before her mother locks her in a storeroom – substantively the same way as it also happens in the Balanchine retelling three generations later. Sokolova is specific enough to say that Lise is spanked with a spindle, and even that this leaves her ‘very sore’!

Although the Ashton choreography dominates productions of Fille in America and Western Europe, the older version is often staged in Russia and Latin America, generally with the spanking done SLB rather than OTK. Here, for example, is a Brazilian production of 2012 with Roberto Rosa and Fernanda Bianchi:

The wide contemporary footprint of this non-Ashton spanking scene may be illustrated with a run of videos of productions staged in the last quarter-century. The earliest is from Miami in 1997 and José Parés isn’t so much half-hearted in what he does to Rosario Suárez – he’s quarter-hearted. So it’s as well to get this one out of the way first…

Only one smack for Marina Bretado in this Mexican dance school production from 2013, but Felipe de Jesús Ayala really makes it count, and makes her skirts fly!

Next up is a Cuban production of 2016. Dani Hernandez picks up Anette Delgado for the full SLB, and though it doesn’t last long, it does make her cry.

Do it again, Dani! Well, actually, this one’s an earlier performance with Grettel Morejon as Lisette:

Still in Cuba, and the spankings are getting longer, as Anissa Curbelo finds out to her cost here:

And we’ll round off with three productions by the same company in Ecuador, the first from 2002, which has some especially good leg-work from Lisette:

A slightly more subdued Lisette from 2007, and a slightly more ungainly spanking:

And from 2009, a Lisette who really understands how to make flying skirts work for a performance:

But after these riches, it’s as well to end with a warning: with its complicated history of successive and sometimes overlapping versions, Fille won’t always include a spanking scene in either of the two traditional places, or at all. But don’t be disappointed: the ballet’s so popular that there’s bound to be another Fille spanking along shortly, whether Ashton or otherwise!