Library of Congress > Collections > Bronislava Nijinska Collection

Overview

Photograph of Bronislava Nijinska, graduation picture, 1908. Music Division, Library of Congress.

The collection of notable dancer, choreographer and teacher Bronislava Nijinska (1891-1972) contains a diverse variety of materials documenting dance and the arts in the twentieth century. Available here are over 200 collection items, including manuscripts, books, diaries, choreographic notebooks, correspondence, moving image materials, music scores, photographs, posters, programs, set and costume designs, and scrapbooks.

Bronislava Nijinska (1891-1972) was a dancer, teacher, and a significant artist in the development of twentieth-century ballet choreography. Nijinska studied ballet at the school of the Maryinsky Theater of Saint Petersburg, along with her celebrity brother, Vaslav Nijinsky. She was a dancer in the Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev where she created a number of roles in ballets by Michel Fokine and Nijinsky.
Many of Nijinska's most significant works were commissioned by Serge Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes, and include Le Renard (1922); Le Mariage d'Aurore (1922); Les Noces (1923); Le Train Blue (1924); and Les Biches (1924). In 1925, Nijinska began her own company, Théâtre Chorégraphique. Other commissions included works for Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires; Ida Rubinstein's Company, Paris; Anna Pavlova's Company; Ballet de l'Opéra Russe à Paris; Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo; Polish Ballet; Colonel W. de Basil's Ballets Russes; Ballet Theatre (New York), among others. She was the author of Bronislava Nijinska: Early Memoirs (translated by her daughter, Irina Nijinska, and published in 1981).

Her collection includes manuscripts, books, diaries, choreographic notebooks, correspondence, moving image materials, music scores, photographs, posters, programs, set designs, costume designs, and scrapbooks.

July 2012