The Ballets Russes was a ballet company established in 1909 by the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev. Diaghilev had already enjoyed success in
Diaghilev's Ballets Russes came to American in 1916. That was the only tour that Diaghilev's Ballets Russes ever danced as a company in the United States. Their first performance was in New York. They opened on January 17, 1916 with The Firebird, La Princesse Enchantée, Le Soleil de Nuit and Schéhérezade. The American public, except those who travelled abroad, had never seen Russian ballet before. After that performance they toured sixteen towns, dancing in a different place each evening. The tour wound up back in New York on April 3, 1916, at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Nijinsky didn't join the tour until the second half, Leonide Massine had been dancing his roles. When Nijinsky turned up he was in bad spirits and out of practice. Trying to book the rest of the year, Diaghilev approached promoter Otto Kahn about another
On May 6th, they set sail back to
Telegrams arrived daily to Diaghilev in
The final season for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes was in 1929. The Ballets Russes performed in London and in Paris that year. On July 26th, 1929, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes gave its final performance at Covent Garden Theatre in London. Diaghilev died in
After Diaghilev's death in 1929, the company's property was claimed by creditors. The dancers were scattered. Colonel Wassily de Basil and his associate René Blum revived the company but Col. de Basil and Rene Blum argued constantly, so Blum founded a new company named the Original Ballet Russe. The Original Ballet Russe toured mostly in