Crafting the Ballets Russes

USD $39.95



ISBN: 978-1-913875-67-1

144 pages

279 x 216 mm (8 ½ × 11 in)

120 colour illustrations

In association with the Morgan Library & Museum, New York

June 2024


A fresh look at the ground-breaking artistic collaborations of the Ballets Russes, illuminated by a rich trove of visual material including music manuscripts, dance notations, stage and costume designs, and photographs of performers.

Read More

This book celebrates one of the world’s finest private gathering of music manuscripts, held on deposit at the Morgan Library. Robert Owen Lehman’s superb collection of French and Russian ballet scores, including Firebird, Petrushka, Afternoon of a FaunBolero, and many more, are shown here for the first time alongside the vivid stage designs and rarely seen choreographic notations for these ballets. Together they offer a fresh view into Serge Diaghilev’s famed Ballets Russes troupe and its revitalization of ballet that roiled Paris in the first decades of the twentieth century. These influential ballets and their creators—composers Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel, choreographers Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Bronislava Nijinska, and artists Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, and Natalia Goncharova—set a new agenda for European art. As the 1930s began, a new international era of modern ballet was underway.

Accompanies a major exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum June 28 – September 22, 2024

Author biographies

Robinson McClellan is an assistant curator of music manuscripts and printed music at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. A composer, teacher, and scholar, he earned a doctorate in composition at the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His writing has appeared in numerous arts journals including Liturgy.

Lynn Garafola is a professor of dance at Barnard College, New York. A dance historian and critic, she is the author of the seminal history Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1989) as well as a regular contributor of articles and essays to both scholarly and general interest publications. Her most recent book, La Najinska: Choreographer of the Modern (2022), has been widely acclaimed.

Marie Rolf is senior associate dean of Graduate Studies and professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.

Table of Contents

  • Director’s Foreword by Colin B. Bailey
  • Prologue by Marie Rolf
  • Diaghilev—Man of Music by Lynn Garafola
  • Crafting the Ballets Russes by Robinson McClellan
  • Checklist of the Exhibition
  • Ballet Music Manuscripts in the Lehman and Morgan Library Collections
  • Suggested Reading
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments
  • Credits