Russian Ballet History

Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1909-1929


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


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. 


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).


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


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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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