Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo

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The company Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo (with a plural name) was formed in 1932 after the death of Sergei Diaghilev and the demise of Ballets Russes. Its director was Wassily de Basil (usually referred to as Colonel W. de Basil), and its artistic director was René Blum. They fell out in 1936 and the company split. The part which de Basil retained went through two name changes before becoming the Original Ballet Russe. Blum founded Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, which changed its name to Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo (note the singular) when Léonide Massine became artistic director in 1938. It operated under this name until it disbanded some 20 years later.[1]

Quick facts: Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo, General informat...
Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo
General information
NameBallet Russe de Monte-Carlo
Year founded1937
FoundersLéonide Massine and René Blum
Principal venuevarious
Senior staff
Company managerSol Hurok
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorSerge Denham (c. 1943–1968)
Ballet MasterFrederic Franklin (1944–1952)
Resident ChoreographersLéonide Massine (1937–1943)
Associated schoolsSchool of American Ballet
  • Principal
  • Soloist
  • Corps de Ballet
The company performs The Nutcracker in 1940.

The Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo featured such dancers as Ruthanna Boris, Frederic Franklin, Alexandra Danilova, Maria Tallchief, Nicholas Magallanes,[2] Tamara Toumanova, George Zoritch, Alicia Alonso, Elissa Minet, Yvonne Joyce Craig, Nina Novak, Raven Wilkinson, Meredith Baylis, Cyd Charisse, Marc Platt, Nathalie Krassovska, Irina Baronova, Leon Danielian, and Anna Adrianova. The company's resident choreographer was Massine; it also featured the choreography of Michel Fokine, Bronislava Nijinska, Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Ruth Page and Valerie Bettis. Their costumes in the first season were made by Karinska,[3] and were designed by Christian Bérard, André Derain, and Joan Miró.[3]

The Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo toured chiefly in the United States after World War II began. The company introduced audiences to ballet in cities and towns across the country, in many places where people had never seen classical dance. The company's principal dancers performed with other companies, and founded dance schools and companies of their own across the United States and Europe. They taught the Russian ballet traditions to generations of Americans and Europeans.