Arts Theatre Ballet

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 2228 DOAB
  • Dates of Creation
      1930s -1941
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      7 boxes

Scope and Content

Collection of programmes, photographs (of events, rehearsals and performances), publicity material and documents relating to the history of the Arts Theatre Ballet (1940-1941).

Choreographic notebooks of Keith Lester for Death in Adagio (for the Markova-Dolin Ballet) and Concerto (1940), De Profundis (1941) and other manuscript notes for the Arts Ballet.

Walter Gore's detailed notes and notebook for Hansel and Gretel, a ballet planned for the Arts Theatre but never realised.

The collection includes material on the amateur Occasional Ballet and other productions at the Arts Theatre 1940-41. Also includes material relating to the Embassy Ballet in 1946 and a Gala performance in 1942.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Arts Theatre Ballet was established under Artistic Director Keith Lester at the Arts Theatre, London, by Harold Rubin. It drew on dancers and repertoire from the Markova-Dolin Ballet (1935-37) and to some extent fed into Ballet Intime. The Arts Theatre Ballet was one of the three professional ballet companies controlled by Rubin at the Arts 1939-41 and like the London Ballet and Ballet Rambert it also toured Britain and in 1941 performed at the Ambassadors Theatre, London. In London the company presented up to five performances a day. The ballets were accompanied by the Arts Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Leighton Lucas.


The collection was previously in three boxes. Material had been partially arranged in to files by a previous archivist. An original file list exists in paper copy. Files have largely been left as previously arranged, where file arrangement has been changed it is noted in the notes field. Where photographs and programmes were in files with other material, they were removed and put in the respective series.

Description compiled Jane Pritchard, c2005 and edited into spreadsheet by Mel Peart, July 2007. Edited by Joanna Norledge April/May 2010.

The arrangement is as follows:

DOAB/CN: Choreographic Notebooks

DOAB/CO: Correspondence

DOAB/LB: The Lunch Ballet

DOAB/OB: The Occassional Ballet

DOAB/PC: Press Cuttings and Releases

DOAB/PH: Photographs

DOAB/PR: Programmes and Related Material

Access Information

This collection can be viewed by appointment with the Rambert Archivist. More information on making an appointment can be found on the Rambert website:



Conditions Governing Use

Copyright owned by creators including choreographer(s), designer(s) and composer(s). Performers rights apply. Can not be copied without rights owners' permission(s).

Custodial History

Collection purchased 1994. The collection was part of the Harold Rubin Archive. Previously owned by Ifan Kyrle Fletcher.


Corporate Names