Serge Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes: Topics in Chronicling America
Diaghilev's Ballet Russes became a groundbreaking ballet company in the early 20th century. This guide provides access to materials related to "Serge Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
"Police May Curb Russian Ballet!" reports the New-York Tribune on January 25, 1916, the audience aghast as beautiful barely-clad female dancers appear on stage during opening night of the troupe’s U.S. tour. Referring to the police clamp-down, director Serge Diaghilev (1892-1929) called it "a most idiotic affair." Diaghilev, also known in Russia as Sergei Diaghilev, and his ballet russes had only just begun. A tamer second-night version of “the dance that made even Paris blush” nevertheless play to a packed house. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
The Imperial Russian Ballet (Ballet Russe) tours the U.S. Principal dancers are Anna Pavlowa and Mikail Mordkin.
The Imperial Ballet Russ Company, led by Serge Diaghilev, embarks on a tour of seventeen U.S. cities.
October 1916 - February 1917
Another U.S. tour led by Vaslav Nijinsky, comprises performances in over fifty cities.