Russian Ballet History

Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1909-1929

1681

A profesional ballet company introduces female dancers and the world's first Prima Ballerina, Mlle de Lafontaine.

1870

Coppellia had its premiere at the Paris Opera, with Choreography by Sain-Leon, music by Delibes and starring 16 year old Guiseppina Bozzacchi in the role of Swanhilde. 

1877

Swan Lake made its premiere on March 4th at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.  Choreography by V. Reisinger, music by Tchaikivsky and starring Pelagia (Paulina) Karpakova (Odette-Odile) and Stanislav Gillert (Prince Siegfried).

1890

Sleeping Beauty premiered January 15th in St. Petersburg, Russia. Choreography by Petipa, music by Tchaikovsky and starring Carlotta Brianza in the role of Aurora.

1892

The Nutcracker made its premiere at the Maryinsky in St. Petersburg.  Choreography by Lev Ivanov, music by Tchaikovsky and Antoinetta Dell-Era as Sugar Plum, Pavel Gerdt as Prince Coquekuche, Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara, Sergei Legat at Nutcracker Prince, and Timofei Stukolkin as Drosselmeyer.

1895

Swan Lake is performed at the Mayinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in its definitive version with Act. I, III choreographed by Petipa and Act. II by Ivanov.

1907

Michel Fokine created Chopiniana to music composed by Chopin. It premiered February 23, 1907 at the Maryinsky Theatre and starred Anna Pavlova, Vera Fokina and Anatole Oboukhoff. 

1907

Anna Pavlova premiered Dying Swan on December 22, 1907, choreographed for her by Michel Fokine, music by Leon Saint-Saens for Carnival of Animals. It was performed in a gala at the Hall of Nobleman in St. Petersburg, Russia.

1909

Michel Fokine became choreographer for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes who made its premiere May 15, 1909 in Paris.

1909

Alexandre Benois became the first Artistic Director of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

1909

Diaghilev's Ballets Russes made its premiere May 15, 1909 in Paris at Theatre du Chaletet.

1909

Fokine's 1907 Chopiniana is revised and given a new name, Les Sylphides.

1910

Scheherazade premiered on June 4th in Paris with choreography by Fokine, music by Rimsky-Korsakov, set design by Leon Bakst and starred Ida Rubenstein, Nijinsky and Cecchetti.

1910

Firebird premiered June 25, 1910 with choreography by Fokine, music by Igor Stravinsky, set and costume designs by Golvin and  Leon Bakst, and starring Tamara Karsavina, Fokine and Fokina.

1910

The first ballet company in America, Chicago Opera Ballet, is established. Its first Ballet Master was Luigi Albertieri, a protégé of Enrico Cecchetti.

1911

Le Spectre de la Rose premiered April 19th in Monte Carlo with choreography by Michel Fokine, music by Carl Maria von Weber, set and costume designs by Leon Bakst and starred Vaslav Nijinsky as the Rose and Tamara Karsavina as the Girl.

1911

Petrushka premiered June 13th in Paris with choreography by Fokine, music by Stravinsky, set and costume designs by Alexandre Benois, and starred Nijinsky, Karsavina, Orloff, and Cecchetti.

1912

Daphnis & Chloe premiered on June 8th in Paris with choreography by Fokine, music by Ravel, set and costume designs by Leon Bakst and starred Karsavina, Nijinsky, and Bolm. 

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