“Russe” means “Russian.” but, the company was organized independently from the Russian government’s ballet system. It was founded by Sergei Diaghilev in Paris, 1909. In the beginning, only Russian dancers performed in Ballet Russes. Anton Dolin was the 1st English dancer to perform for the Company. Ballet Russes toured the world, spreading dance fever wherever they performed.
In the 1920’s, a 2nd generation of great dancers performed in Ballet Russes and mingled with the 1st generation. A 2nd wave of ballet enthusiasm swept the world. In 1921, Anton Dolin and Alicia Markova, were admitted to Ballet Russe (though Markova was too young to perform). Balanchine, (same age and life span as Dolin) joined after defecting from Russia in 1924. In that year, Nijinsky was with the Ballet Russe, as a dancer and choreographer; Vera Trefilova danced the main role of Le Lac des Cygnes. Picasso was designing the sets for Ballet Russe. The world was enthralled.
Maria Dare Dance History Collection
In 1921 Cecchetti celebrated 50 years as a dancer by performing Carabossa Fairy in Sleeping Princess just as he had done first time in 1890. Best known as a Teacher, he taught Diaghilev Company classes for 15 years.
Maria Dare Dance History Collection contains Cecchetti class notes in Sergei Dare's handwriting.
Karsavina was a leading ballerina of Tsar's Imperial Ballet, Russia. She performed all of Marius Petipa’s repertory. Among her famous roles were Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee and Medora in Le Corsaire. 1910s she was with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe, dancing her most famous roles in the ballets of Mikhail Fokine, including Petrushka, Le Spectre de la Rose and title role in Fokine's The Firebird. By 1929 she was teaching. The Thamar Karsavina School of Dance offered Ballet, Toe, and Character dance and was located at The Great Central Hotel, London.
Lindendare School of Portland Oregon was directly influenced by Karsavina. MMe. Elinova Linden studied with her and performed a dance choreographed by Karsavina in the Lindendare 1929 Recital. Since Maria Dare and Marcelle Renoux studied with Elinova Linden, it follows that Karsavina influenced their style and their students.
Bolm made a significant contribution to West Coast Ballet. He graduated Russian Imperial Ballet School, in1904 at age 20. In 1908-9, he toured with Anna Pavlova, while dancing with Mariinsky Ballet. In 1917, during a tour of America with Ballets Russes, Bolm was seriously injured during a performance of Thamar. A long recovery left him in the USA, where he danced, taught, choreographed, for the rest of his life. Chicago became his base in 1919. He organized Ballet Intime in New York; choreographed for NY Metropolitan Opera, 1921-3 provided summer workshops & produced original works at Cornish (now Cornish College of the Arts) in Seattle WA. In 1929, Bolm moved to California and continued to work in CA & NY until 1947. In 1940, he was 1 of 5 choreographers for NY’s Ballet Theatre’s 1st season. His last appearance as a dancer was 1943, as Moor, in Ballet Theatre’s Petrushka, performed at the Hollywood Bowl. "Mephisto" was his last choreography, created in 1947 for San Francisco Ballet.
Above Karsavina, 1930 Dance Magazine
Above: Enrico Cecchetti from Dancing Times, Dec 1928, London
Above: Cecchetti seated in chair. Pavlova on floor next to him. Article Titled: “Americanizing Russian Ballet Methods: ... a group of dance notables; A rare picture taken in Ivy House, the London home of Anna Pavlowa,”. Dance Lovers Magazine, June 1925
Above: Bronze of Pavlova’s foot
Pavlova inspired the world, but her teachers found her technique was lacking. Youtube now has several videos showing that her technique probably gave her teachers nightmares. She was a better actress than dancer. Perhaps the world was attracted to her free spirit and willingness to break the rules. She died while touring in The Hague, Netherlands.
Nikolai and brother, Sergei, trained with their father, and became dancers with Russian Imperial Ballet. Nikilia Legat danced with Imperial Ballet 1888-1914 and with Mariinsky Ballet. Nikolai had a flare for choreography and preserved the works of Marius Petipa. Nikolai preferred to teach and succeeded Petipa as ballet master, later he became the director of the Imperial school. His student list included Agrippina Vaganova, Tamara Karsavina, Mikhail Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky and Adolph Bolm. In 1923, Nikolai replaced Cecchetti as ballet master for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in France. In 1926, Nikolai opened his own school in London. There his student list included, Alexandra Danilova, Margot Fonteyn, Ninette de Valois, Anton Dolin. N. Legat died in London; his wife, Nadine Nicolaeva, continued to run the school. Nadine had been a Prima Ballerina for Imperial and State theatres of Moscow and St. Petersburg. She was also a gifted choreographer.
now has several Pavlova Videos,
I recommend Anna Pavlova 'Californian Poppy' (1916)
Right: The best of Pavlova in 2 minutes (her partner is the guy wearing black.)
Title: Anna Pavlova - Extended film of ‘The Dumb Girl of Portici’ (1916)
Above: On Bolm’s collar (a) & (b) emblem of the Czar’s theatre which all the ballet students wore (a) Bolm during 1st year in Ballet Sch. (b) Year of graduation. (c) Adolph Bolm in “Apollo Musagetes” (Apollo of the Muses) of “Igor Stravinsky ballet which had its world premiere at the Library of Congress Festival of chamber Music in Washington last spring.” from Dance Magazine Aug 1928.
Diaghilev's Ballet Russes
Pavlowa was 1st to develop and wear supportive dance shoes that evolved into today's pointe shoes. If the picture of her pointe is accurate, then she had an extremely over developed arch that would quickly break the shank of most modern pointe shoes.
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Above: Pavlova, Invitation To The Dance