Photograph of Bronislava Nijinska as the Humming Bird Princess in The Sleeping Princess, 1921, Florence Van Damm. Music Div., Library of Congress.
Music by Petr Ilich Tchaikovsky, partly re-orchestrated by Igor Stravinsky; sets and costumes by Léon Bakst; original choreography by Marius Petipa, with additional dances by Bronislava Nijinska; premiere on 2 November 1921, Alhambra Theatre, London. [This full-length ballet was a revival of Sleeping Beauty, which was first performed at the Maryinsky Theater in 1890.]
Described as a “gorgeous calamity” by critics, The Sleeping Princess ran for 115 performances but nearly bankrupted Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. To finance the lavish production of The Sleeping Princess envisioned by Diaghilev, the Alhambra Company gave him an advance against box office receipts of nearly ₤20,000. Diaghilev could not pay back the borrowed sum; the sets and costumes were impounded and legal actual ensued. The Ballets Russes was barred from performing in England until late 1924.