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René Blum and the Ballets RussesIn Search of a Lost Life$
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Judith Chazin-Bennahum

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195399332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399332.001.0001

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The Resurrection of the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo

The Resurrection of the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo

(p.115) Chapter 7 The Resurrection of the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo
René Blum and the Ballets Russes

Judith Chazin-Bennahum

Oxford University Press

This chapter follows the events leading to the recreation of the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo in April 1932, describing Blum’s relationship with his partner Colonel de Basil, which soured very quickly, and the exciting and invigorating debut of the company. It details the brilliant premieres that Balanchine as ballet master created for the opening season and the work of several other choreographers, notably Leonide Massine and Michel Fokine. Balanchine was soon replaced by Massine, and this action gave Massine a strong upper hand in the company, with an impressive male contingent bringing the new company tremendous panache. The chapter recounts Massine’s introduction of the symphonic ballet, as well as many other successful creations, and speaks to the major importance of the company’s tours to London and Paris, throughout Europe, and to the United States. The chapter also depicts de Basil’s betrayal of Blum and details the saga of Blum’s contractual efforts to free himself, which he finally did after the Monte Carlo season in 1935. It concludes with the birth of Blum’s new company, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, with Fokine as the major choreographer.

Keywords:   Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo, Colonel de Basill, baby ballerinas, George Balanchine, Leonide Massine, Michel Fokine, International tours

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