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The Ballets Russes (The Russian Ballets) was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Sergei Diaghilev acted as an "impresario" or organizer of the Ballet Russes, rather than a dancer or an artist. He was wealthy and had studied to be a lawyer. With Alexandre Benois and Leon Bakst , he had formed the Pickwick Club; together, the three published World of Art and created a movement. They believed that "art is free, life is paralyzed." Their ideas of developing a Russian art led to the creation of the Ballet Russes. Among the ground-breaking premieres of the Ballet Russes was ‘ the firebird ‘and ‘ rite of spring ‘in 1913, both to music by Igor Stravinsky, as well as Balanchine's Appollon Musagete to Stravinsky in 1928..After Diaghilev's early death in 1929, the dancers scattered, and the company's property was claimed by creditors. In 1932 Colonel Wassily de Basil and his associate Reneve Blum revived the company under the name Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo Balanchine and Massine worked with them as choreographers, and Tamara Toumanova was a principal dancer. De Basil and Blum argued constantly, in 1938 the founders split and De Basil founded another company, which he called the “Original Ballet Russe” while Blum renamed his group Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. The three compani Ballets Russes. The company's productions, which combined new dance, art and music, created a huge sensation around the world, altering the course of musical history, bringing many significant visual artists into the public eye, and completely reinvigorating the art of performing dance. The Ballets Russes was one of the most influential theatre companies of the 20th century, in part because of its ground-breaking artistic collaboration among contemporary choreographers, composers, artists, and dancers. Its ballets have been variously interpreted as Classical, Neo-Classical, Romantic, Neo-Romantic, Avant-Garde, Expressionist, Abstract, and Orientalist. The influence of the Ballets Russes lasts to this day. The Ballets Russes was noted for the high standard of its dancers, which contributed a great deal to its success in Paris, where dance technique had declined markedly since the 1830s. Most of the company's dancers were resident performers at the Russian Imperial Theatres in the early years. Diaghilev took them on loan to Paris during the theatres' long summer holidays.Principal women dancers included many who earned international renownAnna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina Olga Spessivtseva, Mathilde Kschessinska,Ida Rubinstein, Bronislava Nijnska,Lydia Lopokova,Diana Gould and Alicia Markova, among others.The company was more remarkable for raising the status of the male dancer, who had been largely ignored by choreographers and ballet audiences since the early 19th century. Among the male dancers were Michel Fokine, Serge Liftar,Leonide Massine, George Balachine, Valentin Zeglovsky,Adoph Bolm , and the legendary Vaslav Nijinsky, who was the most popular and talented dancer in the company's history.Anna Pavlova in St. Petersburg, 1881. She studied at the Imperial Theatre School, St. Petersburg, graduating in 1899 as coryphée and within seven years, 1906, was promoted to prima ballerina. She performed in the opening season of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe in Paris in 1909 and by 1911 formed her own dance company with which she toured all the continents until her unfortunate death in 1931. Her most famous characterisation was as The Swan in the divertissement of the same name although the Gavotte Pavlova was also a popular feature in both her tours. Only she danced these roles and for this reason her name will not be included alongside these divertissements. The Pavlova files collection, document her two Australian tours in 1926 and 1929 when she brought her own ballet company touring for the J.C. Williamson organisation. The incomplete holdings of theatre programmes reveal that Pavlova presented eighteen...
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