Russian Ballet Collection

Scope and Content

This small collection contains two programmes of the Russian Ballet's seasons at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, 1912-1914. Included are many colour illustrations of costume designs, as well as photographs and illustrations of various dancers and text about various ballet productions.

Also contained within the collection is a programme for 1911, to which other publicity materials such as cuttings, magazine articles, portions of programmes and postcards have been added. A colour brochure showing costume designs, and a few other stray and incomplete materials relating to Ballets Russes [taken from programmes] are also included.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ballets Russes was a Russian ballet company formed and directed by Serge Diaghilev (1827-1929). As a touring company, it created a sensation in Western Europe in the early 20th century, premiering much of today's established ballet repertoire, featuring many prominent dancers, composers, artists and choreographers of the period such as Bakst, Matisse, Picasso, Stravinsky, Prokoviev, Debussy, Ravel, Fokine, Nijinsky, Balanchine, Pavolva and Karsavina.

The company was established in 1909 as a summer theatre in Paris by the Russian Opera and Ballet, and became a permanent company in 1911. The company spent regular seasons in Paris from 1909 until its closure on Diaghilev's death in 1929.

It is not known who accumulated this collection of papers.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Other Finding Aids

Not currently listed.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 10 January 2005, and encoded into EAD 2 June 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Previously formed part of the Reserve Collection, Special Collections, University of Exeter Library.

Related Material

Other archive collections relating to Ballets Russes are held at the Theatre Museum, London.


It is not known whether this publication has been used as the basis for publication.