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Topics in Chronicling America - Serge Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes (Russian Ballet)

"Police May Curb Russian Ballet!" reports the New-York tribune for 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. "A most idiotic affair," says director Sergei Diaghilev of the police clamp-down. A tamer second-night version of “the dance that made even Paris blush” nevertheless plays to a packed house. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • December 1910: The Imperial Russian Ballet (Ballet Russe) tours the U.S. Principal dancers are Anna Pavlowa and Mikail Mordkin.
  • January 1916: 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. .

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Ballet Russes (or Russ), Ballet Russ, Serge Diaghilev (or Diaghilew, Diaghileff), Imperial Ballet Ruse (or Russ), Lydia Lopolova, Anna Pavlowa, Valslav Nijinsky (or Nijinski), Tamara Karavina. 
  • For stories on performance pieces, try Scheherazade, The Firebird, Les Sylphides, Petrouchka.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles on a particular tour or performance.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  April 29, 2017
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